Hospitals and health systems are using web-based and social media tools to market themselves to consumers with increasingly sophisticated strategies. These efforts are designed to shape the consumers' expectations, influence their purchase decisions, and build a positive reputation in the marketplace. Little is known about how these web-based marketing efforts are taking form and if they have any relationship to consumers' satisfaction with the services they receive. The purpose of this study is to assess if a relationship exists between the quality of hospitals' public websites and their aggregated patient satisfaction ratings. Based on analyses of 1,952 U.S. hospitals, our results show that website quality is significantly and positively related to patients' overall rating of the hospital and their intention to recommend the facility to others. The potential for web-based information sources to influence consumer behavior has important implications for policymakers, third-party payers, health care providers, and consumers.
- health information technology
- patient satisfaction
- social media
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Professions(all)