An Analysis of Internet Searches Performed on a Hospital System Homepage to Assess Search Patterns and Traffic Generated by Radiology-specific Terms

Academic Article

Abstract

  • Objective: To understand the utilization of the search engine within our hospital system's homepage, stratifying the searches into physician specialty, procedures or therapies, patient conditions, and logistical queries, with a specific focus on radiology-specific terms as a baseline to guide future interventions. Methods: The top 1000 most searched terms entered into the medical system's homepage between January 1, 2017 and February 28, 2018 were collected. Related or similar terms were combined for analysis. Results: During the study period, there were 121,071 unique searches on the center's website, and the top 1000 most searched terms combined for 65,011 searches. The most searched category was logistical queries (n = 29,667), followed by searches for conditions (n = 14,033), specialties (n = 3083), and procedures or therapies (n = 2252). Within the top 1000 most searched terms, radiology-specific searches accounted for 96 searches. These terms were all mammography-related. Conclusion: Radiology as a specialty and radiology-specific terms were not frequently searched for by patients when compared with other specialties. Mammography-related terms were the only radiologic subspecialty items within the top 1000 search terms. Overall, patients searched more for conditions than they did for specialties or therapies. These findings could be a representation of the general public's lack of awareness regarding the specialty.
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    Author List

  • Smith GD; McFarland JA; Huang J; Smith AD; Gunn AJ