Social media impacts nearly 40% of recent hospital or urgent-care center patients, with more than half of 25-to-34 year olds reporting they are influenced by it, according to the Spring 2009 Ad-ology Media Influence on Consumer Choice survey from Ad-ology Research.

One of the main reasons why this age group was so heavily influenced is because nearly 30% of their hospital visits are maternity-related, MarketingCharts writes. Of social media types, forums and discussion boards had a significant influence on 20% of 25-to-34 year olds who recently made a visit for maternity reasons.

Women accounted for approximately 60% of those who researched family doctors online.

Quality of care ranks the highest among patients as the most important factor when choosing a hospital or urgent care center.

Hospital/urgent care websites had the most influence on 18-to-24-year old patients (53.8%).