Why Top Hospitals Have Inadequate Websites: 10 Things to Know | eHealth - Social Business in Health | Scoop.it

Even hospitals with the sturdiest reputations are having a hard time extending their digital presence and offering expertise beyond the confines of a brick-and-mortar hospital, according to a new report from Evolve Digital Labs.

This first-of-its-kind report, "The Digital Health of Today's Best Hospitals," evaluates the online presence and patient use of digital assets or websites from some of the top hospitals in the country, as identified by U.S. News & World Report. Hospitals and health systems analyzed include Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, UPMC in Pittsburgh, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, among many others.

Here are 10 key findings and points of analyses from the report.

1. Even top brands struggle. Derek Mabie, president of Evolve, said the most remarkable finding from the report is how top healthcare brands struggle to expand their presence on digital platforms or meet consumers' expectations for mobile access ...

2. Key findings. The study analyzed 57 hospitals from January 2013-January 2014. ..

The analysis found:
•    49 percent of hospitals lacked a mobile patient website
•    67 percent failed to offer online rehabilitation and aftercare information
•    Only 1 in 5 had online pre-registration to reduce patient wait time
•    Nearly 1 in 3 failed to facilitate online bill pay
•    At least 18 percent had onsite errors that hindered the patient experience
•    Nearly 1 out of 2 hospitals did not support post-prescription refill requests online

3. Barriers systems face. Mr. Mabie recognizes some barriers that may hold hospitals or health systems back in their digital efforts. "Clinical oversight of content is probably a barrier.... 
4. The need for digital governance. Mr. Mabie also says the report highlights the need for digital governance across healthcare organizations to fill the communication gap between patients, clinicians, health IT experts, marketing and communication teams...

5. The top 10 patient-centric hospital websites, according to the report, are:

•    Mayo Clinic (Rochester, Minn.)
•    Cleveland Clinic
•    University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (Houston)
•    Massachusetts General Hospital (Boston)
•    UPMC (Pittsburgh)
•    Duke Medicine (Durham, N.C.)
•    Thomas Jefferson University Hospital (Philadelphia)
•    Massachusetts Eye and Ear (Boston)
•    The Mount Sinai Medical Center (New York City)
•    Florida Hospital (Orlando)
6. Determining patient-friendliness. To determine whether a website was patient-friendly, the study looked for websites that offered options to complete medical forms before appointments, make appointments, request refills, pay medical bills, view medical records and/or tests and view discharge and rehabilitation information. ..

7. Google results and brand reach. Search result rankings are one component of a hospital's brand reach score. ...

8. Mayo Clinic did best in search results. ..

9. There is a distinction between patient- and brand-centric website content, and some hospital websites can cross this line without even knowing it ...

10. The link between digital presence and spending. Hospitals' subpar digital presence isn't so much the result of hospitals' crunched finances, but more about leaders thinking money spent on website development is not worth it. "I'd say if they truly understand ROI and their ability to capture metrics, most would invest at much greater level," says Mr. Mabie. "It's the most scalable way to reach people.