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Article

Tracking Websites’ Digital Communication Strategies in Latin American Hospitals During the COVID-19 Pandemic

1
Department of Journalism and Communication Sciences, Autonomous University of Barcelona, 08001 Barcelona, Spain
2
Department of Communication, Antonio de Nebrija University, 28015 Madrid, Spain
3
Faculty of Communication, Universidad de La Sabana, Chia 53753, Colombia
4
Faculty of Social Sciences, Technical University of Machala, Machala 070201, Ecuador
5
Department of Journalism and Public Opinion, University of El Rosario, Bogotá 110111, Colombia
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(23), 9145; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17239145
Received: 9 November 2020 / Revised: 30 November 2020 / Accepted: 3 December 2020 / Published: 7 December 2020
(This article belongs to the Collection Mass Communication, Digital Media, and Public Health)
Since the advent of the Internet, websites have become the nerve center of the digital ecosystems of media, companies and all kinds of institutions. Currently, the impact of the global coronavirus pandemic has placed healthcare issues at the center of social debate, including hospitals and their websites as digital sources of trustworthy information. COVID-19 has intensified the need for quality information and the legitimacy of sources fighting the infodemic situation. In this regard hospitals become essential social actors in the spread of healthcare information. Within this framework, a qualitative study is presented with descriptive components and based on content analysis. This study examines 58 websites from the best hospitals included in the “América Economía” ranking health sector from Latin America. The study applies an analysis methodology based on previous research focusing on specialized web studies, defining an analysis model on six variables and 65 thematic indicators. The research concludes that hospitals occupying first positions in the medical services directory are not necessarily those that have the best websites. Similarly, it is worth noting that a quarter of the studied sample do not devote a specific space to reporting coronavirus information. Brazil, Colombia and Chile are the countries with the highest number of hospitals among those with the best websites. In conclusion, digital media, specifically websites, could constitute legitime resources of healthcare information consumption, so their accuracy and proper development seem to be significant to become genuine sources that not only could provide better healthcare services but help avoid the spread of misinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic. View Full-Text
Keywords: digital communication; Internet; hospital; web design; COVID-19; infodemic digital communication; Internet; hospital; web design; COVID-19; infodemic
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MDPI and ACS Style

Tejedor, S.; Pérez-Escoda, A.; Ventín, A.; Tusa, F.; Martínez, F. Tracking Websites’ Digital Communication Strategies in Latin American Hospitals During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 9145. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17239145

AMA Style

Tejedor S, Pérez-Escoda A, Ventín A, Tusa F, Martínez F. Tracking Websites’ Digital Communication Strategies in Latin American Hospitals During the COVID-19 Pandemic. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(23):9145. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17239145

Chicago/Turabian Style

Tejedor, Santiago; Pérez-Escoda, Ana; Ventín, Augusto; Tusa, Fernanda; Martínez, Fátima. 2020. "Tracking Websites’ Digital Communication Strategies in Latin American Hospitals During the COVID-19 Pandemic" Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 17, no. 23: 9145. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17239145

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