Is your local hospital on Facebook? If so, what can you learn from its page? A new study suggests that you can glean quite a bit of information based on what Facebook users think about that hospital.
A study in the American Journal of Medical Quality has published a new study showing that a hospitalâs Facebook page might be an indicator of its quality. Researchers who studied Facebook pages from 40 New York hospitals discovered that the number of âlikesâ on their pages was an important indicator, not only of patient satisfaction, but also of quality of care.
We usually hear about patient surveys that reflect a hospitalâs care. But social media can hint at the very same information. Facebook can offer a gauge of how patients respond to a particular hospital.
The study took 30-day mortality rates (percentage of patients who die within a month of admission) and patient recommendations and compared them to the number of âlikesâ on the hospitalsâ Facebook pages. Sure enough, those âlikesâ were linked with positive patient recommendations. The researchers found a correlation that for every one percentage the 30-day mortality rate dropped, there were nearly 100 more Facebook âlikes.â Hence, positive results were being rewarded online.
So, have you fired up the computer and checked Facebook to see if your hospital is on there? Give it a shot and see how the âlikesâ and comments make you feel. Or, perhaps you are choosing between two different hospitalsâin this case, Facebook could be a valuable resource.
Now, this study is not proof that hospitals that are popular on social media sites like Facebook are more likely to have better care and better quality doctors. There may be other reasons why this hospital has a lot of Facebook âlikesâ (perhaps they regularly interact with people through social media), but what the study shows is that you can learn a lot about your hospital by doing some simple research online. Donât rely just on the number of Facebook âlikesââalso do your research and find out which specialty your hospital is known for and donât be afraid to get a second opinion.
Source(s) for Today’s Article:
Timian, A., et al., âDo Patients âLikeâ Good Care?: Measuring Hospital Quality via Facebook,â American Journal of Medical Quality; published online February 1, 2013.