Hospitals in “Baidu Know”

Sorry for the late post.

“Baidu Know” is a platform for millions of netizens to ask questions about almost every aspect in their life, no matter they are informal or professional, established by Baidu in 2005. The respondents are also ordinary netizens. However, years ago, as Internet technology develops, several Chinese inland hospitals decided to adopt the online tool called “Baidu Know- Ask Doctors”, which was a tool established after long discussion between those hospitals and Baidu board. It’s a platform for ordinary netizens to ask questions about their health problems or concerns, but this time, the responders are online doctors from cooperating hospitals. They get several jiao or yuan paid for each respond. Up to now, according to official statistics provided by Baidu, more than 10 thousand doctors have participated in this online tool, but he exact number of hospitals that adopt this online tool is unknown. I’ll take Weixian People’s Hospital from Hebei Province as an example of organization, to illustrate the challenges they are now meeting.

The biggest challenge facing this hospital is that, the hospital is not able to take responsibility for what its doctors on “Baidu Know” have said online, which eventually decrease its credibility. I viewed some of the responds its doctors gave for netizens. It’s obvious that some of the responds are formulaic and even an be found on elsewhere websites easily, given by irresponsible doctors. If people meet this kind of doctor in entitative hospitals, the doctor is sure to be complained directly and seriously. He may even lose his job. However, when it comes to online tool, they become hard to be held responsible. Patients are anonymous while doctors are real-name. How can an anonymous individual has the energy to appeal to a” professional” but invisible doctor? Doctors become separated individuals from the organization —– the hospital. The online tool stretch the distance of patients and doctors dramatically, thus, people choose rather not to believe them.

A way I find practical to solve this problem is to associate the pay for those doctors with the degree of satisfaction of the patients, which can be technically achieved by interviews afterwards online. Maybe the patient in question should also become a real name user.  In my opinion, the clearer the tool is, the more possible that people will choose to believe it.



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