Tracking Websites’ Digital Communication Strategies in Latin American Hospitals During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Fatima Martinez Gutierrez, Santiago Tejedor, Augusto Ventin, Ana Pérez-Escoda, Fernanda Tusa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Since the advent of the Internet, websites have become the nerve center of the digital ecosystems of media, companies and all kinds of institutions. Currently, the impact of the global coronavirus pandemic has placed healthcare issues at the center of social debate, including hospitals and their websites as digital sources of trustworthy information. COVID-19 has intensified the need for quality information and the legitimacy of sources fighting the infodemic situation. In this regard hospitals become essential social actors in the spread of healthcare information. Within this framework, a qualitative study is presented with descriptive components and based on content analysis. This study examines 58 websites from the best hospitals included in the “América Economía” ranking health sector from Latin America. The study applies an analysis methodology based on previous research focusing on specialized web studies, defining an analysis model on six variables and 65 thematic indicators. The research concludes that hospitals occupying first positions in the medical services directory are not necessarily those that have the best websites. Similarly, it is worth noting that a quarter of the studied sample do not devote a specific space to reporting coronavirus information. Brazil, Colombia and Chile are the countries with the highest number of hospitals among those with the best websites. In conclusion, digital media, specifically websites, could constitute legitime resources of healthcare information consumption, so their accuracy and proper development seem to be significant to become genuine sources that not only could provide better healthcare services but help avoid the spread of misinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic.
Original languageSpanish (Colombia)
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume17
Issue number23
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 7 2020

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