Hospital Facebook 'Likes' Could Indicate Quality, Patient Satisfaction

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The number of "likes" on a hospital's Facebook page could be an indicator of hospital quality and patient satisfaction, according to a study published in the American Journal of Medical QualityFierceHealthIT reports (Gold, FierceHealthIT, 2/21).

Study Details

The study -- titled, "Do Patients 'Like' Good Care? Measuring Hospital Quality Via Facebook" -- examined 40 hospitals located in the New York City metropolitan area.

Healthcare Innovation Technology Lab researchers performed a quantitative analysis based on the hospitals':

  • Facebook data;
  • 30-day mortality rates; and
  • Patient recommendation rates (HIT Lab release, 2/19).

Study Findings

The study determined that Facebook "likes" are:

  • Negatively associated with 30-day mortality rates, with every 93 additional Facebook "likes" corresponding with a one percentage point decline in 30-day mortality rates; and
  • Positively associated with patient recommendation.

Implications

According to the study's authors, the findings "support the idea that free, widely accessible data made available via social media will continue to find a place in academic assessment of hospital quality."

They noted that the study could provide a "stepping stone" for other researchers to "build on by analyzing data from Facebook and other social media tools against various traditional measures" (FierceHealthIT, 2/21).


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