Effects of Online-Offline Service Integration on e-Healthcare Providers: A Quasi-Natural Experiment

Production and Operations Management, Forthcoming

40 Pages Posted: 11 Mar 2021

See all articles by Ni Huang

Ni Huang

University of Houston - C.T. Bauer College of Business

Zhijun Yan

Beijing Institute of Technology

Haonan Yin

University of California, Irvine

Date Written: January 17, 2021

Abstract

E-healthcare platforms start to integrate medical services across online and offline channels, where providers can perform online consultations, schedule patients’ offline visits, synchronize relevant medical records, and finally, answer online inquiries regarding follow-up and recovery anytime and anywhere within one operations management function (i.e., online-offline service integration). In this study, we seek to quantify the effects of online-offline service integration on the e-healthcare providers’ demand and reputational outcomes, noting that it is not altogether clear how the service integration function will affect the providers who adopt such a function in e-healthcare platforms. Leveraging a quasi-natural experiment on an e-healthcare platform, we conducted difference-in-differences analyses in tandem with a variety of matching strategies, including propensity score matching and look-ahead propensity score matching. Further, we explored the moderating roles of provider-specific characteristics. Our results reveal a set of robust and interesting findings: i) e-healthcare providers, on average, experience increases in online demand and decreases in offline demand post online-offline service integration; ii) the service integration function also improves the professional reputation of participating providers; iii) the impact of channel integration on the outcomes are weaker for providers with lower (vs. higher) professional titles; and iv) the providers who specialize in treating chronic (vs. acute) diseases experience greater increases in online demand and reputational outcomes, yet insignificant changes in offline demand. This work contributes to related prior literatures on healthcare operations management, e-healthcare, and online-offline channel integration, offering design implications for the service operations of e-healthcare platforms.

Keywords: online-offline service integration, healthcare operations management, e-healthcare, difference-in-differences, look-ahead propensity score matching

Suggested Citation

Huang, Ni and Yan, Zhijun and Yin, Haonan, Effects of Online-Offline Service Integration on e-Healthcare Providers: A Quasi-Natural Experiment (January 17, 2021). Production and Operations Management, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3768055 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3768055

Ni Huang (Contact Author)

University of Houston - C.T. Bauer College of Business ( email )

Houston, TX 77204-6021
United States

Zhijun Yan

Beijing Institute of Technology ( email )

5 South Zhongguancun street
Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Researc
Beijing, Haidian District 100081
China

Haonan Yin

University of California, Irvine ( email )

P.O. Box 19556
Science Library Serials
Irvine, CA 62697-3125
United States

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