When a Doctor Knows, it Shows: An Empirical Analysis of Doctors’ Responses in Q&A Forum of an Online Healthcare Portal

Posted: 13 Jul 2017 Last revised: 26 May 2018

See all articles by Sandeep Khurana

Sandeep Khurana

Indian School of Business (ISB), Hyderabad

Liangfei Qiu

University of Florida - Warrington College of Business Administration

Subodha Kumar

Temple University - Department of Marketing and Supply Chain Management

Date Written: July 6, 2017

Abstract

Question-Answer (Q&A) forums are gaining popularity as a user-engagement tool to drive traffic on multi-service portals. In a platform market model, demand-side users seek answers from the supply-side users, since such answers can indicate value offered, reduce buyer uncertainty and offer social proof. Analyzing user-generated content (UGC) on Q&A forum of a prominent healthcare portal, we find that the introduction of doctors’ responses has a significant causal impact on demand-side user perception of medical services offered. More importantly, our research suggests that doctors’ search ranking, experience, qualifications, transparency in appointment booking, and service fees moderate the effect of doctors’ Q&A responses on user recommendations. Further, the presence and activity levels of other doctors’ responses in the same specialty and in the same city generate negative spillover effects and reduce the effectiveness of the focal doctor’s responses.

Keywords: healthcare, Q&A forums, digital platforms, spillover effect, user-generated content

Suggested Citation

Khurana, Sandeep and Qiu, Liangfei and Kumar, Subodha, When a Doctor Knows, it Shows: An Empirical Analysis of Doctors’ Responses in Q&A Forum of an Online Healthcare Portal (July 6, 2017). Mays Business School Research Paper No. 2998248. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2998248

Sandeep Khurana (Contact Author)

Indian School of Business (ISB), Hyderabad ( email )

Hyderabad, Gachibowli 500 019
India

Liangfei Qiu

University of Florida - Warrington College of Business Administration ( email )

Gainesville, FL 32611
United States

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/site/qiuliangfei/

Subodha Kumar

Temple University - Department of Marketing and Supply Chain Management ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19122
United States

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
547
PlumX Metrics