Understanding Physicians’ Online-Offline Behavior Dynamics: An Empirical Study

54 Pages Posted: 14 Aug 2017 Last revised: 31 Mar 2019

See all articles by Liuan Wang

Liuan Wang

School of Management, Harbin Institute of Technology

Lu (Lucy) Yan

Indiana University - Kelley School of Business - Department of Operation & Decision Technologies

Tongxin Zhou

University of Washington - Michael G. Foster School of Business

Xitong Guo

Harbin Institute of Technology

Gregory R. Heim

Texas A&M University - Department of Information & Operations Management

Date Written: March 1, 2019

Abstract

Physicians’ participation in online healthcare platforms serves to integrate online healthcare resources with the offline medical system. This integration brings opportunities for reshaping healthcare delivery systems. Although, in the field of telemedicine, there has been extensive discussion about physician participation, little is known about how physicians actually participate in online healthcare platforms and offline medical systems. Understanding physicians’ participation dynamics between online and offline channels is of great importance to academic researchers, practitioners, and policymakers. Such an understanding can reveal insights into how healthcare is actually delivered to patients through both channels, how to contribute to quantifying the social impacts of online healthcare services, and how to improve healthcare delivery systems. Thus, in this study, we investigate physicians’ online-offline behavior dynamics. We collected data from both online and offline channels to conduct our analysis. As physicians’ online and offline activities are highly endogenous, we deploy a time-series technique and develop a structural vector autoregression (SVAR) model to examine such behavior dynamics. We find that physicians’ online activities can lead to a higher service quantity in offline channels, whereas offline activities may reduce physicians’ online services due to resource constraints. Our results also show that the more offline patients physicians serve, the more articles the physicians will likely share online. These findings are robust to various econometric specifications and estimation methods. Our paper contributes to the advocacy of Health 2.0 and provides evidence of the value of online healthcare communities and the policies that support them.

Keywords: physicians’ online participation, online-offline behavior dynamics, endogenous system, structural vector autoregression (SVAR) models

Suggested Citation

Wang, Liuan and Yan, Lu (Lucy) and Zhou, Tongxin and Guo, Xitong and Heim, Gregory R., Understanding Physicians’ Online-Offline Behavior Dynamics: An Empirical Study (March 1, 2019). Mays Business School Research Paper No. 3017974; Kelley School of Business Research Paper No. 17-59. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3017974 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3017974

Liuan Wang

School of Management, Harbin Institute of Technology ( email )

92 West Dazhi Street
Nan Gang District
Harbin, heilongjiang 150001
China

Lu (Lucy) Yan (Contact Author)

Indiana University - Kelley School of Business - Department of Operation & Decision Technologies ( email )

Department of Operations and Decision Technologies
1309 E. Tenth Street
Bloomington, IN 47401
United States

Tongxin Zhou

University of Washington - Michael G. Foster School of Business ( email )

WA 98195-3200
United States

Xitong Guo

Harbin Institute of Technology ( email )

huanghe road
harbin, heilongjiang 150001
China

Gregory R. Heim

Texas A&M University - Department of Information & Operations Management ( email )

320 Wehner Building
4217 TAMU
College Station, TX 77843-4217
United States
979-845-9218 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://mays.tamu.edu/info/

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