Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Most Spanish hospital websites are not accessible

According to international standards, only a third of Spanish hospital websites can be considered accessible. This is one of the conclusions reached in the first study to compare Spanish hospital websites with those of other countries, a study conducted by researchers at the Miguel Hernández University (UMH) in Elche, Alicante.

A comparative study recently analyzed websites for hospitals located in Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States, and found that most do not meet the requirements of the “Web Accessibility Test” (TAW), an online tool that reports on the accessibility of a website and determines, for instance, if the web design is suitable for persons with a disability.

“Webmasters should take appropriate measures to solve this problem,” according to José Joaquín Mira Solves, work coordinator and professor of the Department of Health Psychology at the UMH. The psychologist explained that the TAW test is based on the criteria recommended by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), an international organization that monitors the standardization and functioning of the Web.

Mr Mira Solves also stressed the need to create communication channels to enhance user interaction with the hospital, as none of the Spanish hospital websites analysed included a user form for requesting information by Internet or e-mail.

Another recommendation was to provide some indication of when the pages were created and “something as simple,” according to the researcher, as putting the date when the information is updated. The website should also indicate hospital quality data, e.g., ISO or EFQM (European Foundation for Quality Management) standards, satisfaction survey results, or patient quality commitments.

Suggesting potential areas for improvement was one of the objectives of the study, which looked at the portals of 32 hospitals: 10 in Great Britain, 10 in the U.S. and 12 in Spain. The hospitals are specifically named in the publication to protect their identity, according to Mr. Mira Solves, who explained that “the purpose of this work was not to rank hospitals.”

Thirty-two hospitals were randomly selected from among those with the highest scores in the classification systems of each country. In the U.S., the “Top American Hospitals” was used, whereas in Spain the study used the “Hospitales Top 20” of 2004, an initiative involving voluntary participation by 155 Spanish National Health System centres and private hospitals.

Websites that do not report on job vacancies

The study also found that only 8% of Spanish hospital websites report on job vacancies, whereas 100% of hospital centres in the U.S. and Great Britain do provide such information. The lack of information on job opportunities on Spanish websites may be related to their communication policies, which are “less likely to focus on social marketing and, therefore, have a distinct concept of how to use the communication channels,” stated Mira Solves.

The researchers measured the quality and user orientation of the information provided on the websites by using the “Hospital Centre E-information Quality Scale”, which assesses the presence or absence of 66 elements and their percentage of compliance. According to this scale, Spanish hospital websites obtained an average score of 47 points, compared with 50 for the American hospitals and 54 for the British. The percentage of quality criteria with no score was 6% for Spain, 11% for the United Kingdom, and 12% for the U.S.

In addition, the study found that Spanish hospital websites report in 83% of scientific journal publications for their professionals, whereas only 20% of the U.S. hospitals do so. In terms of readability, measured using several indexes (Flesch and Fernández Huerta), the texts included in the Spanish hospital pages presented a “standard average” ease of reading, a score not attained by any of the U.S. hospitals and only three of the British sites. None of the Spanish websites visited scored low in comprehension, whereas 10% of British sites and 50% of U.S. sites would be hard to read.

SINC Team | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Diagnoses: When Are Several Opinions Better Than One?
19.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online
07.04.2016 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

New method increases energy density in lithium batteries

24.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

International team discovers novel Alzheimer's disease risk gene among Icelanders

24.10.2016 | Life Sciences

New bacteria groups, and stunning diversity, discovered underground

24.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>