An Evaluation of Health Care Service Provider Websites in Latvia – a Medical Tourism Perspective

Daiga Behmane, Didzis Rutitis, Vita Savicka

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Abstract

The prospective health care consumers are increasingly using the Internet websites for communication with potential health care service providers and decision-making regarding choice of the travel destination for receiving particular health care services. Therefore, it is important for health care providers to present themselves and their services efficiently online in order to attract foreign patients and thus facilitate medical tourism. The objective of this study is to evaluate the website content of Latvian health care providers who offer services to medical tourists in order to evaluate their status-quo and identify opportunities to improve website design. Authors used the framework by Huerta et al. (2016) as a basis to develop a modified framework suited for medical tourism-related website evaluation. 21 active websites associated with a medical tourism and provision of health care services to foreign patients were identified and selected for analysis. Each website was evaluated using a 10-factor assessment on 4 dimensions that include website accessibility, content, marketing, technology on a scale ranging from 0 to 10. Results: Scores of 21 website evaluation ranged from 54 to 91 point across all 4 dimensions with 80 and above points being considered as excellent result. Conclusions: Study findings indicated that the main improvements should be related to accessibility dimension and enabling text resizing function for improving experience for patients with poor sight, information dimension in terms of developing a separate main level section with information exclusively for foreign patients, and marketing dimension to improve effectiveness of search engine optimization (SEO) for medical tourism related keywords.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-20
JournalRegional Formation and Development Studies
Volume29
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Keywords

  • health care
  • marketing
  • internet
  • medical tourism

Field of Science

  • 3.3 Health sciences
  • 5.4 Sociology

Publication Type

  • 1.2. Scientific article included in INT1 or INT2 category journal of ERIH database

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