COMMUNICATING HEALTH: A STUDY ON THE USAGE OF NEW MEDIA IN HOSPITALS TO CREATE AWARENESS AMONG INFORMATION SEEKERS
Sananda Mukherjee and *Dr. Nandini Lakshmikantha
In this era of technological revolution dependence of people for information on various social media platforms appears to be a common phenomenon. Health, recognized as one of the primary concerns under Sustainable Development Program, is also one of the many areas on which people search for appropriate information using social media platforms. Unless it is a state of compulsion people try to research about the facilities and services provided by hospitals before entering inside. On the other hand, with medical services moving from speciality to super speciality status in addition to the entry of multinational companies into the health service sector, Hospital Management and Administration has entered into a competitive situation. Every hospital irrespective of its nature, maintains its own website, and tries its best to make its presence on the internet. As the information seeker is alert and seeks knowledge before entering the hospital, the primary objective of the hospitals these days is to provide information to the assessor. This study intends to investigate the websites created by select hospitals of Karnataka and understand the method of adopting e-health tools. The study will also focus on the online interactive procedure adopted by the hospitals with the patients/ information seekers. Methodology: A systematic content analysis focussing on the content and methods of communications. The websites of 5 hospitals of Karnataka were selected on the basis of bed size of the hospitals and then they were chosen by lottery method. The websites were studied between September 2018 to October 2018 on day to day basis. Implications: The different communication patterns and the media formats followed in the different websites will eventually enhance e-patient knowledge and also encourage and publicise the involvement of patients in newer ways that will replace the existing methods of healthcare communication.
Keywords: Health communication, internet, new media, social media.
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