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Article
Publication date: 7 September 2021

Sandeep Goyal, Sumedha Chauhan and Parul Gupta

This study aims to investigate the external and internal stimuli, which affect the organismic experiences of the users and thereby influence their response in terms of…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate the external and internal stimuli, which affect the organismic experiences of the users and thereby influence their response in terms of behavioral intention toward the use of online doctor consultation platforms.

Design/methodology/approach

The study operationalized the stimulus–organism–response framework for the research model and surveyed 357 users in India who had experienced online doctor consultation platforms. The analysis has been done using the structural equation modeling approach.

Findings

The authors’ main results indicate the following key points. One, perceived usefulness, social influence, health anxiety, offline consultation habit and perceived technology usage risk are significant predictors of perceived value. In contrast, perceived ubiquity is identified to be an insignificant predictor of perceived value. Second, social influence and perceived technology usage risk have significant influence on trust. However, perceived usefulness is not a significant predictor of trust.

Research limitations/implications

This study contributes to the theory by integrating technology-oriented factors with behavioral attributes for determining the behavioral intention of users toward the online doctor consultation platforms.

Practical implications

The managerial contributions of this study involve highlighting those technology-oriented and behavioral elements, which can be targeted to attract more users toward these platforms.

Originality/value

This is an original study that has looked beyond the role of technology-oriented factors in influencing the perceived value and trust elements while investigating the behavioral intention among the users toward the online doctor consultation platforms.

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Article
Publication date: 19 August 2020

Yan Wan, Yifan Zhang and Mengling Yan

Online trust is a key factor for successful online transactions. To some extent, online health consultation can be considered an online transaction. Owing to the unique…

Abstract

Purpose

Online trust is a key factor for successful online transactions. To some extent, online health consultation can be considered an online transaction. Owing to the unique physician–patient relationship, patients' choice of physicians within an online health consultation setting may not only be based on rational judgments but also considerably affected by their feelings. Hence, the purpose of this study was to explore which physicians' attributes affect patients' cognitive and affective trust in physicians, as well as how these two variables and their association affect patients' willingness to choose.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on the broad conceptual framework of online trust, this paper proposed a set of hypotheses that were tested through analyzing survey data using structural equation modeling techniques.

Findings

Results showed that physicians' ability had a significant positive influence on patients' cognitive trust in the physician; physicians' integrity and benevolence had a significant positive influence on patients' affective trust in the physician; cognitive and affective trust had a significant positive impact on patients' willingness to choose and there were significant positive interactions between affective and cognitive trust.

Originality/value

This study theoretically enriches the generic model of online trust. From the practical perspective, it will provide physicians working in online health consultation platforms and relevant practitioners with baseline information on the topic and advice for decision-making toward service enhancement and clientele improvements.

Details

Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. 120 no. 12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-5577

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Article
Publication date: 21 May 2019

Jia Li, Jie Tang, David C. Yen and Xuan Liu

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the moderating effect of disease risk in terms of the major signals (i.e. status, reputation and self-representation) on the e…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the moderating effect of disease risk in terms of the major signals (i.e. status, reputation and self-representation) on the e-consultation platforms.

Design/methodology/approach

In this study, the proposed research hypotheses are tested using the transaction data collected from xywy.com (in Need of Therapy). In fact, xywy.com is one the leading e-consultation service websites in China that provides a platform for the interactions between the physicians and patients (Yu et al., 2016; Peng et al., 2015). Generally speaking, it has all the needed design elements and in other words, a standard e-consultation website should have such items/components as physician homepage, physician review, free consultation, paid consultation and recommendation systems.

Findings

The obtained results reveal that all attributes including status, reputation and self-representation have a positive impact on physician’s online order volume. Moreover, there is a positive moderating effect of disease risk onto the online reputation, indicating a higher effect exists for the diseases with high risk. However, the effect of offline status and online self-representation is not moderated by the disease risk, indicating market signals (online reputation) may have a stronger predictive power than seller signals (offline status and online self- representation), and therefore market signals are more effective when/if the disease risk is high.

Originality/value

E-consultation has gradually become a significant trend to provide the healthcare services, in the emerging economy such as China because of shortage of medical resources but having an adequate access in internet usage. The impacts of signals on the health care market have been validated by previous studies. However, the research focusing on the moderating effect of signaling environment in the health care industry is still lacking. As a result, the value of this research helps to bridge the aforementioned research gap.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. 32 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 10 January 2020

Wen Xing, Ping Yu Hsu, Yu-Wei Chang and Wen-Lung Shiau

The purpose of this paper is to investigate factors that influence the patients’ intentions to visit doctors face-to-face for consultations from the perspective of online

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate factors that influence the patients’ intentions to visit doctors face-to-face for consultations from the perspective of online doctor–patient interaction. Justice theory, SERVQUAL and the halo effect are integrated to develop a research model based on the performance-evaluation-outcome framework. The authors hypothesize that perceived justice and service quality are the significant factors in reflecting the performance of online doctor–patient interaction, which influences patient satisfaction evaluation and online and offline behavioral intentions.

Design/methodology/approach

The study conducted an online survey to collect data. Patients on a healthcare consulting website were invited to participate in the survey. The research model and hypotheses were tested with 254 collected data from patients and analyzed using the partial least squares method.

Findings

The results show that perceived justice and service quality have a positive effect on patient satisfaction, and satisfaction and the intention of online consultation have a positive effect on the intention of face-to-face consultation.

Practical implications

This study offers suggestions on how doctors interact with patients and build their brand image. The findings also offer effective insights into improving doctors’ online services to retain patients and even encourage patients to go to clinics.

Originality/value

Online health consultation is one of the most popular online health services and is growing quickly. After patients consult online doctors, they are able to visit their doctors in person for further diagnosis and treatment if they have the need. This study investigates how patients’ online interactive experience influences their offline behavioral intentions, which are different from most of the past literature on eHealth.

Details

Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. 120 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-5577

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Article
Publication date: 30 November 2020

Dan Wu, Hao Xu and Shu Fan

This paper aims to identify consumers' health information consultation patterns by analyzing information sources to better understand consumers' health information needs…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to identify consumers' health information consultation patterns by analyzing information sources to better understand consumers' health information needs and behavior in the context of multisource health information.

Design/methodology/approach

Haodaifu Online, an online health consultation (OHC) website in China, was used as a research data source, and 20,000 consultation cases were collected from the website with Python. After screening and cleaning, 1,601 consultation cases were included in this study. A content analysis-based mixed-methods research approach was applied to analyze these cases.

Findings

The results indicate that with the participation of OHC, there are 15 patterns of consumer health information consultation. Besides OHC, health information sources reported by consumers included medical institutions family/friends and the Internet. Consumers consult on a wide range of health issues including surgical conditions obstetrical and gynecological conditions and other 20 subjects. Consumers have multiple information needs when using OHC: getting prescriptions, diagnosing diseases, making appointments, understanding illnesses, confirming diagnoses and reviewing costs. Through further analysis it was found that consumers’ health information consultation patterns were also significantly different in health issues and health information needs.

Originality/value

This study broadens one’s understanding of consumer health information behavior, which contributes to the field of health information behavior, and also provides insight for OHC stakeholders to improve their services.

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Article
Publication date: 10 August 2021

Shuqing Chen, Xitong Guo, Tianshi Wu and Xiaofeng Ju

With the advent of the Digital 2.0 era, online doctor–patient (D–P) interaction has become increasingly popular. However, due to the fact that doctors use their fragmented…

Abstract

Purpose

With the advent of the Digital 2.0 era, online doctor–patient (D–P) interaction has become increasingly popular. However, due to the fact that doctors use their fragmented time to serve patients, online D–P interaction inevitably has some problems, such as the lack of pertinence in the reply content and doctors' relative unfamiliarity with their individual patients. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to excavate whether potential D–P social ties and D–P knowledge ties accentuate or attenuate the influence of patient selection (online and offline selection).

Design/methodology/approach

The authors used the methods of text mining and empirical analysis on the structured and unstructured data of an online consultation platform in China to examine the research hypotheses.

Findings

The findings illustrate that the potential D–P social ties increase the influence on patient selection, as do the potential D–P knowledge ties. Specifically, the effect of social ties on patient selection is positively moderated by patient health literacy. Conversely, health literacy weakens the link between knowledge ties and patient selection. In addition, the doctor's title weakens the influence of social ties on patient selection, in contrast to knowledge ties (partially).

Originality/value

This study provides guidance for doctors and patients on how to communicate effectively and alleviate tension within D–P relationships. The study’s findings have both theoretical and practical implications for both doctors' and online platforms' decision-making.

Details

Internet Research, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1066-2243

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2004

Paul Huntington, David Nicholas, Janet Homewood, Panayiota Polydoratou, Barrie Gunter, Chris Russell and Richard Withey

Examines statistically the public's use and attitudes towards interactive and personal health services via an online questionnaire survey and enhances these data with an…

Abstract

Examines statistically the public's use and attitudes towards interactive and personal health services via an online questionnaire survey and enhances these data with an expert assessment of a number of consumer health sites and their services. Over a period of three weeks more than 1,300 people responded to an online questionnaire produced by The British Life and Internet Project. Of the respondents, 81 per cent were British. The likely potential uptake figure for support group participation among Internet health users is about 20 per cent while around 11 to 13 per cent will go online to describe a medical condition. Those in poor heath were approximately ten to 13 times more likely to have participated in an online support group. Those aged over 65 were four times as likely to e‐mail their doctor. More positive health outcomes were associated with those respondents that participated in online support groups and the least number of health outcomes were associated with those people that maintained e‐mail contact with a doctor or surgery.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 60 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 30 November 2020

Manoj Menon and Babu George

Empowered patients are allies to the healthcare system, especially in emergency situations. Social media use has emerged to be a major means by which patients interact…

Abstract

Empowered patients are allies to the healthcare system, especially in emergency situations. Social media use has emerged to be a major means by which patients interact with the healthcare system, and in times such as the current COVID-19 situation social media has to play an even greater crisis management role by empowering patients. Social media channels serve numerous beneficial purposes, despite them also being blamed for the spread of misinformation during this crisis. In this Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) focused case study, we will discuss the increasingly greater role being played by the social media in healthcare in the region and how that empowers not just the patients but the system as a whole. In the GCC region, the healthcare sector is found to reflect a steady growth, leading to an increased drive for empowering patients by lowering the barriers to effective communication and consultation through online media. As of today, social media has become an element of the telehealth infrastructure being deployed in the region. During COVID-19, patients are seen to leverage it pointedly for online health consultations thereby lowering the stress on the healthcare system and adding to efficiencies.

Details

International Case Studies in the Management of Disasters
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83982-187-5

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 30 June 2020

Hongying Tan and Mengling Yan

The significance of physician-user interaction has been widely acknowledged in offline and online healthcare consultation. However, limited attempts have been made to…

Abstract

Purpose

The significance of physician-user interaction has been widely acknowledged in offline and online healthcare consultation. However, limited attempts have been made to explore the influence of physician-user interaction on users' perceived service quality (PSQ) in the mobile context. Based on the literature on physician-user interaction and media synchronicity theory, this study proposes a theoretical model where the interactive factors common across the offline, online and mobile context, i.e. physicians' informational support and emotional support, the interactive factors unique in the mobile context, i.e. physicians' response speed and voice service, and the interaction between the two categories of interactive factors predict users' PSQ in mobile consultation.

Design/methodology/approach

This study collects consultation records between 25,225 users and 738 physicians from a leading Chinese mobile consultation application, and employs linear regression to verify the proposed theoretical model.

Findings

Physicians' informational, emotional support, response speed and voice service are found to have significant positive impacts on users' PSQ. Besides, physicians' response speed strengthens the positive impacts of physicians' informational and emotional support on users' PSQ, while physicians' voice service weakens the positive link between physicians' informational support on users' PSQ.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the antecedents for users' PSQ in mobile consultation by identifying unique interactive factors in the mobile context, and highlighting the individual and interaction effects of different physician-user interactive factors. Besides, this study employs novel methods, which leverages text classification and text pattern recognition to more accurately depict physicians' online behaviors based on objective communication records.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. 33 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 2020

Jiaying Li, Zhaohua Deng, Richard David Evans, Shan Liu and Hong Wu

In China, healthcare services have historically been expensive and difficult to access, with resources being unfairly distributed, often being centralized in large…

Abstract

Purpose

In China, healthcare services have historically been expensive and difficult to access, with resources being unfairly distributed, often being centralized in large hospitals in major cities. In rural regions, hospitals often suffer from limited supplies, including human capital and equipment. E-health technologies have received significant attention from governments and citizens, with online healthcare communities (OHCs) providing easier communication between patients and doctors. Although doctors play a pivotal role in the success of OHCs, they are often unsure how to attract patients, with limited research focusing on this. The purpose of this paper is to explore how doctors can take initiatives in OHCs, from the joint perspectives of individual effort (i.e. intrapersonal factor) and identity in medical teams (MTs) (i.e. interpersonal factor), based on attribution theory.

Design/methodology/approach

Hierarchical linear regression was conducted on data from 3,170 doctors participating in 865 online MTs, to examine the effects of individual effort and identity in MTs on individual performance. Individual effort included central effort (log-in frequency to OHC) and peripheral effort (articles published on doctors' homepages). Identity in MTs was represented as the identity of team leader and multiple team membership (MTM).

Findings

This study found that the main variables – central and peripheral effort, and leader and MTM identity – all had significant and positive impacts on the service quantity (SQ) of both written and telephone consultations. Although positive effects could be experienced in most conditions that were congruent with the logic of identity theory, the interaction terms demonstrated complex influences. Specifically, leader identity did not moderate the effect of article effort in written consultation, while MTM identity could not moderate the relationship between frequency effort and SQ in telephone-consultation services. Further, the leader identity negatively moderated the relationship between article effort and SQ in telephone consultations. Thus, for doctors with the leader identity, the impact of article effort on SQ was weaker. In summary, both aspects were proved to play important roles in individual SQ.

Practical implications

This study provides empirical findings through focusing on the SQ of both written and telephone consultations in OHCs, thereby enabling healthcare providers to take initiatives and ultimately improve the efficiency and provision of delivered healthcare services. It is worth mentioning that doctors possessing the identity of team leader should be cautious that the more articles published by them may not lead to envisaged telephone-consultation performance, according to the negative moderating effect of leader identity on the relationship between article effort and SQ during telephone consultations.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the OHC literature by investigating how doctors' efforts and identity in OHCs affect individual performance, based on attribution theory and identity theory. Further, we provide healthcare practitioners with an improved understanding of these dimensions to improve autonomy regarding service provision in OHCs.

Details

Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. 120 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-5577

Keywords

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