A qualitative framework to assess hospital / medical websites

J Med Syst. 2012 Oct;36(5):2927-39. doi: 10.1007/s10916-011-9771-5. Epub 2011 Aug 27.


Nowadays, there are many peoples who access to the internet to search for a proper hospital with their desired medical services. Hence, the website quality of hospitals or medical centers is very important to help patients/users. However, to design high qualitative medical websites, we should first know the medical quality metrics. Then, we should try to find a way to assess different medical websites based on the quality metrics. In fact, medical websites may have a significant role to increase the society's knowledge about people health, provided services for patients etc. Thus, it is necessary to design a framework to evaluate the quality of these websites. Even though there are many medical websites, unfortunately, there are a few studies about quality analysis of medical/hospital websites. In this paper, we propose a qualitative framework to assess different medical websites. The proposed framework consists of 7 main categories, each having different metrics. Finally, to show how these metrics can help designers to assess the websites quality, we have considered 3 different hospitals as case studies. We asked different people including doctors, website designers, and usual peoples to evaluate our defined metrics on each case study. At the end, the results are shown through different charts.

MeSH terms

  • Consumer Health Information / methods*
  • Consumer Health Information / standards*
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Hospitals*
  • Humans
  • Internet / organization & administration*
  • Internet / standards
  • User-Computer Interface