Report finds Many U.S. Hospitals Lack Patient-Centered Websites
Some of the nation's top hospitals struggle to create a strong online presence and offer patient-centered websites, according to a new report from Evolve Digital Labs, Becker's Hospital Review reports.
For the report, titled "The Digital Health of Today's Best Hospitals," researchers between January 2013 and January 2014 analyzed the digital presence of 57 of the top hospitals in the U.S., as identified by U.S. News & World Report.
The researchers used various search analysis and social media tracking tools to determine the patient "reach" of each hospital's website through:
- Domain and page authority;
- Inbound links;
- Linking domains; and
The study also examined various website functions, such as those that allow patients to:
- Complete medical forms before appointments;
- Make appointments;
- Pay medical bills;
- Request refills;
- View discharge and rehabilitation information; and
- View medical records and/or test results.
To determine the hospitals' rankings, the researchers' search terms included all of the 16 health specializations in which the top hospitals are ranked nationally.
Overall, the report found that:
- 67% of the hospitals did not offer online rehabilitation and aftercare information;
- Nearly 50% of hospitals did not support post-prescription refill requests;
- 49% of hospitals did not have a mobile website;
- 33% did not allow online bill pay;
- 20% allowed patients to pre-register online; and
- 18% had website errors that affected the patient experience.
According to the report, the top 10 patient-centric hospital websites belong to:
- Mayo Clinic;
- Cleveland Clinic;
- University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center;
- Massachusetts General Hospital;
- University of Pittsburgh Medical Center;
- Duke Medicine;
- Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia;
- Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary;
- Mount Sinai Medical Center; and
- Florida Hospital.
Derek Mabie, president of Evolve, said the findings highlight the need for digital governance throughout hospitals and health care systems to reduce the communication gap between health care professionals and patients.
He said, "If there were digital governance, these top hospitals would all have mobile-friendly sites" (Gamble, Becker's Hospital Review, 4/17).
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