Engaging Patients Through Your Website

Kimberlee Snyder, Winona State University
Lynne Ornes, University of South Carolina - Beaufort
Pat Paulson, Winona State University

© Journal for Healthcare Research 2012, National Association for Healthcare Quality.

DOI: 10.1111/j.1945-1474.2012.00214.x


Legislation requires the healthcare industry to directly engage patients through technology. This paper proposes a model that can be used to review hospital websites for features that engage patients in their healthcare. The model describes four levels of patient engagement in website design. The sample consisted of 130 hospital websites from hospitals listed on 2010 and 2011 Most Wired Hospitals. Hospital websites were analyzed for features that encouraged patient interaction with their healthcare according to the levels in the model. Of the four levels identified in the model, websites ranged from “informing” to “collaborative” in website design. There was great variation of features offered on hospital websites with few being engaging and interactive.