Title: Medical tourism in Japan: an examination of Japan's international hospitals' online communication

Authors: Michael Guiry

Addresses: Marketing Department, West Chester University of Pennsylvania, Business and Public Management Center, West Chester, PA 19383, USA

Abstract: This study examines the online information about Japanese hospitals, designated Japan international hospitals by the Japanese government, provided at JAPAN Hospital Search, a government portal site, and the hospital websites in order to explore how these hospitals are presented online and attempt to appeal to the perceived needs of prospective medical tourists. The content of 39 hospital websites are analysed across five dimensions: hospital information and facilities, admissions and medical services, interactive online services, external activities, and technical items. Results show differences in the extent to which the hospitals convey information across the five dimensions. Additionally, the findings reveal inconsistencies between the hospital information presented at JAPAN Hospital Search and the hospital websites. Recommendations for improving the online communication about the hospitals are discussed, and suggestions for future research are proposed. The study serves as a starting point for further research on the online communication about Japan international hospitals as Japan strives to grow its medical tourism industry.

Keywords: medical tourism; Japan international hospitals; online communication; JAPAN Hospital Search; hospital websites; content analysis; medical tourists; medical care; healthcare; health tourism.

DOI: 10.1504/IJQRS.2019.103767

International Journal of Qualitative Research in Services, 2019 Vol.3 No.2, pp.158 - 187

Received: 07 Sep 2018
Accepted: 08 Apr 2019

Published online: 27 Nov 2019 *

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