Medical tourism is growing rapidly in the recent years in various Asian countries. The success of the hospitals engaged in medical tourism largely depends on their abilities in maintaining the repeating customers and to attract new customers. Hence, the purpose of this study is to examine the impacts of word-of-mouth and social media on hospital brand image. It also attempts to examine the relationships between brand image, perceived service quality, patient satisfaction and behavioral intention.
A questionnaire survey was used to collect data from 386 medical tourists to test the proposed model. All the measurement scales adopted in this study were adapted from the existing literature. The data collected in this study were analyzed using both SPSS and structural equation modeling approach via AMOS.
The findings from the structural analysis indicated that both word-of-mouth and hospital-generated social media have a significant impact on brand image. Hospital brand image positively influences medical tourists’ perception of service quality, and their perceived service quality is significantly related to their satisfaction, which in turn, leads to their behavioral intention.
This study is one of the few studies that considers the importance of hospital’s brand image in influencing medical tourists’ perceptions on the quality of healthcare services that they experienced during their medical trips. This research study also raises the significance of word-of-mouth communication and social media that influence hospitals’ brand image, which has been neglected by many studies.
Cham, T., Lim, Y., Aik, N. and Tay, A. (2016), "Antecedents of hospital brand image and the relationships with medical tourists’ behavioral intention", International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing, Vol. 10 No. 4, pp. 412-431. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJPHM-02-2016-0012Download as .RIS
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