Emarketing and ICT in private hospitals in the United Kingdom

This research is an exploratory study on the capabilities of ICT by focusing on private hospitals of the UK. Large numbers of consumers are using the internet to extract health-related information. However, it is not known to what extent they effectively use the e-marketing platform of the private hospitals. Thus, with the aim to generate an in-depth view about the role of ICT in the private hospitals of UK, four objectives and two hypotheses were stated in Chapter I. After extensive literature review the theoretical framework was formed. This was a mix of qualitative and quantitative study with both primary and secondary data collection. Secondary data was collected through journals and websites and primary data was collected through survey questionnaires. Both the in-patients and the hospital staff were given the questionnaire. The study focused on one single hospital – The BMI Clementine Churchill Hospital. All the objectives of the study have been met.
The first objective was to evaluate the current trends that accelerate the growth of using ICT in private hospitals. Proliferation of the internet technology and ICT, changes in consumer demand, the literacy levels of the consumers, and increase in consumer demand for health care, in addition to intense competition in the health care sector have led to acceleration in the growth of using ICT in private hospitals in the UK. …
Through the website the hospitals generate a large amount of consumer data which can be effectively used for enhancing their marketing efforts. No such evidence has been available through the study. Social media marketing too is not being used by private hospitals to understand consumer needs and wants. The third objective was to investigate the limitations of realising ICT in private hospitals. Their activities are limited to sending emails or offering online bookings. There is nothing to keep the visitors engaged once they visit the website. At the moment the consumer acceptance appears to be limited. Acceptance of technology is an attitudinal change that has to first come in the consumers. Thus, the onus for realising ICT in private hospitals rests with the hospitals as well as with the consumers. The fourth objective was to analyse critical issues surrounding the use of E-marketing in private hospitals. The first and foremost concern is the vast amount of medical information available on the internet which can be misleading. Making online payments is another critical issue that impacts the acceptance of e-marketing. An e-platform can allow anyone to practice as a physician and this can be disastrous for the society. The privacy policies are yet to be addressed by the hospitals. Another critical issue is the concept of social media marketing. While it can help the hospitals to recognize consumer demands and needs it can also adversely impact hospital reputation. Since there is no control over the data posted and stored on the social media platforms, this could impact the reputation of the hospitals. The study concludes