Presence of nursing information on hospital websites in five countries: a review

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Aim:The aims of this study were to (1) examine the presence of nursing information on 50 hospital websites across five countries; (2) describe the accessibility, range and depth of nursing information provided; and (3) compare the characteristics of nursing web information across the countries.Background:Providing information on hospital website is an increasingly popular strategy for marketing hospital services, and it has been playing unique and important roles for nursing. So far, the nursing information offered via hospital websites is not uncommon worldwide, but the amount, content and form of such information presented by the institutions of different countries have not been examined systematically.Methods:Objective sampling was employed to select 50 top hospital websites from five countries, with ten for each geographical region, namely, Australia (Oceania), China (Asia), South Africa (Africa), UK (Europe) and the USA (North America). A self-developed checklist was used to examine the presence of nursing information on the above-mentioned hospital websites.Findings:The most frequently presented information on the hospital websites was nursing employment (job placement), nursing education, and news and events concerning the nursing profession, but information about other aspects of nursing was relatively lacking. The hospital websites in the USA and Australia provided more information as compared with those in China and the UK. Nursing information was almost unavailable on hospital websites in South Africa. Although the accessibility of nursing-related information has been improved, the presence of nursing information was not strong on the hospital websites across the five countries.Conclusion:The nursing information presented on hospital websites varied with different countries. Efforts have to be made to improve the presence and accessibility of nursing information. Information about the nursing services, professional image of nurses and nursing employment should be enhanced.

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