Study: Hospital websites have 'significant' room for improvement

The University of Arizona Cancer Center in Tucson got top marks for its website in a forthcoming study in the Journal of Healthcare Management. The study assessed U.S. hospital and health system websites' performance based on accessibility, content, marketing reach, technology, design and maintenance. The sites also were given an overall score.

The mean overall score for the U.S. health systems included in the study was 6.37 on a 10-point scale, indicating that hospital and health system websites have significant room for improvement, according to an iHealthBeat article by Eric Ford, the Forsyth Medical Center distinguished professor at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro and one of the study's authors.

"More than 80 percent of adults reported using the Internet as a resource for health care quality information. As a result, consumers are becoming increasingly health literate and are able to understand health analytics comparing provider performance," Ford wrote. "Early adopters of technology will benefit in an environment in which customers use the Internet to evaluate facilities."

Children's hospitals and specialty facilities--cancer facilities in particular--performed well, perhaps because there are fewer of them and because they compete for customers across larger geographic areas, Ford noted.

Other top-ranking sites included San Diego, Calif.-based Scripps Health (which scored 8.3), the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City (8.2), and the Charles A. Dean Memorial Hospital and Nursing Home in Greenville, Maine (8.2).

To learn more:
- read the iHealthBeat article
- see the UACC announcement

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