Almost from its very inception, the Internet has been used as an essential source of medical information. Patients have become avid researchers, no longer relying only on their doctors’ advice. They feel both empowered and overwhelmed by the data at their fingertips. While healthcare professionals respect their patients’ desire to become advocates for their own well-being, they are often concerned about the validity of the information informing their patients’ decisions. There exists an opportunity for healthcare organizations to not only provide accurate, valid, and useful information to patients, but to extend their branding and create additional opportunities for meaningful interactions that wouldn’t otherwise exist. According to Google, 84% of patients use both online and offline sources for hospital research, with these searches driving nearly 3 times as many visitors to hospital sites compared to non-search visitors. The good news is that, according to the same article, patients are turning to…

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