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The impact of the Internet on professional relationships: the case of health care

Winkelman, D. and Laing, A. and Hogg, G. (2005) The impact of the Internet on professional relationships: the case of health care. Services Industries Journal, 25 (5). pp. 675-687. ISSN 0264-2069

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Abstract

This paper considers the impact of the internet on professional services, specifically healthcare services which have been characterised as asymmetrical in information and power distribution. For complex professional services the internet is primarily an information resource offering perceived parity with professionals. Based on interviews with healthcare professionals and website managers, this paper considers how professionals perceive the internet to be changing patterns of professional-consumer interaction and the nature of professional-consumer relationships. Manifest at service encounter level and health policy level, professionals perceived the evolving parameters of the consumer role to be generating a requirement for a fundamental revision of models of service delivery and professional roles.