Does Telemedicine Reduce Emergency Room Congestion? Evidence from New York State.

( Accepted at Information Systems Research )
Overcrowding in emergency rooms (ERs) is a common yet nagging problem. It not only is costly for hospitals but also compromises care quality and patient experience. Hence, finding effective ways to improve ER care delivery is of great importance. Using a large dataset covering all emergency visits of New York State from 2010 to 2014, we investigate whether telemedicine enhances ER care delivery. We show that, on average, telemedicine availability in the ER significantly reduces average patients’ length of stay (LOS), which is partially driven by the flexible resource allocation. Specifically, the adoption of telemedicine leads to a larger reduction in ER LOS when there is a demand surge or supply shortage. Furthermore, such improvement is not a byproduct of other widely adopted health IT applications and does not come at the expense of care quality or patient cost. We also replicate the analysis using annual U.S. hospital data and find that ER telemedicine adoption significantly reduces average patients’ waiting time, which suggests that the LOS reduction partially comes from the reduction of waiting time.

The Emergence and Evolution of Social Media Customer Service.

Social media has become an essential channel for customer service. On the one hand, it provides great opportunities for firms to directly engage with customers and to publicly resolve problems. On the other hand, the publicity puts firms under unexpected risks when firms fail to address customer concerns adequately. In this paper, we first analyze firms’ adoption of Twitter and social media customer service (SMCS) through a two-stage model. We identify that corporate peer influence and consumer voices are the two key drivers in firms’ decision-making. We then examine how consumer complaining behavior evolves in response to firms’ service strategy.

Enriched Information Representation and Customer Brand Engagement - Evidence from Facebook.

Customer brand engagement has been a widely-recognized topic that draws attention from business practitioners and academic researchers. Existing studies focus extensively on the characteristics of firm posts that could affect brand engagement. This paper studies the effect of information representation on brand engagement. Using a large data set collected from 345 official Facebook pages maintained by S&P 500 firms before and after the introduction of emoji reactions, we find that the enriched information representation has an overall positive impact on customer brand engagement. Moreover, customers reallocate their attention by firm post’s type due to the signaling effect of other users’ reactions. Specifically, customers increase responses to less popular posts (i.e., predicted to be low/medium engagement level) but decrease responses to popular posts (i.e., predicted to be high engagement level). Our study emphasizes the importance of information representation on customer brand engagement, which provides organizations with insights on social media marketing practice.