How hospitals in mainland China responded to the outbreak of COVID-19 using information technology-enabled services: An analysis of hospital news webpages

Aihua YAN*, Yi ZOU, Dinesh A. MIRCHANDANI

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective:
Many countries have implemented quarantine rules during the global outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Understanding how hospitals can continue providing services in an effective manner under these circumstances is thus important. In this study, we investigate how information technology (IT) helped hospitals in mainland China better respond to the outbreak of the pandemic.

Materials and Methods:
We conducted a content analysis of pages published on the websites of the top 50 hospitals in mainland China between January 22 and February 21, 2020. In total, we analyzed 368 pages that the hospitals published during the initial days of the COVID-19 pandemic. The purpose was to identify common themes related to the utilization of IT by these hospitals in response to the pandemic's outbreak.

Results:
We identified 5 focal themes across the webpages published by the hospitals during our study period, including (1) popular medical science education, (2) digitalized hospital processes, (3) knowledge management for medical professionals, (4) telemedicine, and (5) new IT initiatives for healthcare services. Our analysis revealed that Chinese hospitals spent greater effort in promoting popular medical science education in the initial stages of our study period and more on telemedicine in the latter stages.

Discussion:
We propose a configurational approach for hospitals to design response strategies to pandemic outbreaks based on their available resources.

Conclusions:
Our study provides rich insights for hospitals to better utilize their IT resources and some recommendations for policymaker to better support hospitals in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)991-999
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Medical Informatics Association
Volume27
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Author(s) 2020. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the American Medical Informatics Association. All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • COVID-19 Pandemic
  • hospital responding strategy
  • IT-enabled Services
  • Mainland China

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