Using Hospital Web Sites to Enhance Communication

Using Hospital Web Sites to Enhance Communication

Sherrie D. Cannoy (The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, USA) and Lakshmi Iyer (The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, USA)
Copyright: © 2006 |Pages: 7
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-799-7.ch183
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Abstract

A large number of patients currently utilize the Internet to access healthcare-related information (Tobin, 2002). Many physician and health-related Web sites have been information portals lacking interactive services that could benefit healthcare partners through decreased costs, increased convenience, and communication. Patients typically visit Web portals to learn more about medical topics, often discussing this information with physicians. Emerging Internet technologies can be a strategic asset for hospitals to impact physician bonding, patient self-service, and overall enterprise performance efforts. We conducted an investigation of Web sites of 10 hospitals listed in U.S. News and World Report’s Best Hospitals of 2004 Honor Roll, as well as a random selection of seven other hospital sites. An examination of each hospital’s site was performed to determine what features were provided to enhance communication between the partners in healthcare. Partners are defined as patients and their families, referring physicians, insurance companies, vendors, pharmacies, job seekers, and the media. Communication-enhancing features are any features that have the potential to increase communication between the hospital and its partners. We focused on patient communication-enhancing features, since patients are the primary partners of healthcare entities.

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