Mind-Blowing Statistics on Digital Marketing for Hospitals


These healthcare marketing statistics are a few years old. Want the latest stats? Check out our more recent posts:

Fathom has developed long-term strategic partnerships with several health systems and hospitals throughout the US. Part of our responsibility to our clients is to understand how patients use search, social media, video, and email to communicate with health systems and choose a facility for treatment. Not only is this information important to our clients; it is also important for us to help create an integrated digital marketing strategy that reaches users across the web (wherever they may be) and nurtures them until they are ready to schedule an appointment.

Below are some important statistics pulled from multiple sources that look at how patients search, how patients book appointments, and how hospitals are spending their digital marketing budgets.

How Patients Search:


patients searching

  • 38% searched symptoms or departments*
  • 37% searched conditions and disease related terms*
  • 19% searched branded terms*
  • 6% searched treatments or procedures*
  • 49% of patients started searching about conditions/diseases*
  • 48% of patients finished searching on branded terms*

*Google: The Digital Journey to Wellness – Hospital Selection

Booking & Scheduling Appointments:


  • 21% booked via computer or mobile browser/app*doctors appointment
  • 56% called on phone*
  • 23% booked in person*
  • 77% of patients used search prior to booking an appointment*
  • 1/3 of patients used tablets and mobile devices on a daily basis for research and/or booking appointments*
  • Patients researching on mobile devices are more likely to book appointments than those on computers (44% vs. 34%)*
  • 48% took over 2 weeks to research prior to booking an appointment*

What Your Peers Are Doing:


  • Less than 2.5% (150 of the nation’s 6,000) of hospitals use Google and Facebook to market services, estimates Rob Grant, executive vice president of eVariant. **
  • Hospitals spend about 25% ($45,000) – of their annual marketing budget on digital. ***

hospital marketing dollars

  • On average, physician marketing accounts for about 29 percent of that digital budget ($13,000) and 71% is consumer-focused.***

physician v. consumer graph

  • 69% of health systems are using content development and 58% are engaging their patients with email marketing—these are the most common tactics by hospital digital marketers. Social media is at 46%, SEO at 35%, Display at 31%, and Paid Search (SEM) at 27% respectively.***

**Kaiser Health News: Hospitals Finding Patients On Google, Facebook

***UBM Medica Insights: Hospitals and Digital Marketing – Spending Grows


Check out our study of the competition health systems face in paid search.

Health Systems & Paid Search

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