Hospital Quality

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Can Facebook ‘Likes’ Tell You Something About Hospital Quality?

By Kelley Weiss, CHCF Center for Health Reporting

Clicking that thumbs-up “like” button on Facebook is moving beyond cute baby photos and hip new restaurants in town. Now hospitals are joining the mix.

A recent article published in the American Journal of Medical Quality says positive endorsements on Facebook could actually mean something about hospital quality.

Researchers looked at two measures: 30-day mortality rates and patient satisfaction.

Hospitals with higher patient death rates got fewer “likes.”
The study found that hospitals with higher patient death rates got fewer “likes.” It also found that people who “like” a hospital on Facebook are more likely to recommend it.

Dr. Ashish Jha,  a professor of health policy at the Harvard School of Public Health, says these findings make sense. But he cautions that the study of how accurately social media trends reflect hospital quality is in the early days. Continue reading