That’s a tall order.


I read an article in MedCity News the other day that has me wondering “Why would they do that?” The article is on how the Cleveland Clinic created a health-and-wellness portal,, to showcase original health content. In other words, they’re creating their own version of WebMD.

Competing with WebMD to become an online source for health information is no easy task. They are the number one source for health information online and second place isn’t even close. Here are just a handful of stats from various third party research firms:

When going online for health and wellness information, WebMD is #1 destination with 54%. The second place source is with 12%. Source: Hartman Healthy Nation Study, June 2008.

WebMD reaches three out of every four U.S. women each year. WebMD also reaches 95% of U.S. adults seeking health information online each year. Source: Manhattan Research Cybercitizen Health, 2006.

WebMD is the most frequently searched health term on the Internet. Source: Hitwise, November 2008.

I’ve also seen the overwhelming preference for WebMD in our proprietary Pulse360 healthcare surveys. In a recent study we found that 86% of healthcare consumers surveyed would go to WebMD first to seek information on a medical issue versus 14% who chose a local hospital website. This isn’t bad news for local hospital websites however. Local hospital websites are preferred for information on local health programs and to identify local doctors.

Having information like this can help a hospital play to its strengths instead of spending valuable time and resources in areas it shouldn’t compete in. I’m interested to see how does in comparison with WebMD. The Cleveland Clinic is certainly an impressive healthcare brand. Even so, my money is on the healthcare consumer keeping WebMD as their overwhelming choice for health and wellness information online.

Tags: , ,

2 Responses to “That’s a tall order.”

  1. Chris Says:

    I think a WebMD-like site is a necessity for the big hospitals. However, I don’t think any expect to take WebMD’s market share. is essentially is another WebMD-esque version.

    What I thought was interesting was the admission of the move by Cleveland Clinic that it’s moving heavily online: ads on 100+ Web sites for example. I was also intrigued by the concept that people visit hospital sites for 3 reasons: appointments, jobs and health-care information.

    What will it mean for hospitals that put up their own WebMD sites if they can glean a few percent of WebMD’s traffic, and win an increase in (particularly out-of-town) patients?

  2. Julie Says:

    WebMD’s non-affiliation is a bonus, too. Do you want health content that’s provided by someone that might provide it with a slant to their own services?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: