Do patients "like" good care? measuring hospital quality via Facebook

Am J Med Qual. 2013 Sep-Oct;28(5):374-82. doi: 10.1177/1062860612474839. Epub 2013 Feb 1.


With the growth of Facebook, public health researchers are exploring the platform's uses in health care. However, little research has examined the relationship between Facebook and traditional hospital quality measures. The authors conducted an exploratory quantitative analysis of hospitals' Facebook pages to assess whether Facebook "Likes" were associated with hospital quality and patient satisfaction. The 30-day mortality rates and patient recommendation rates were used to quantify hospital quality and patient satisfaction; these variables were correlated with Facebook data for 40 hospitals near New York, NY. The results showed that Facebook "Likes" have a strong negative association with 30-day mortality rates and are positively associated with patient recommendation. These exploratory findings suggest that the number of Facebook "Likes" for a hospital may serve as an indicator of hospital quality and patient satisfaction. These findings have implications for researchers and hospitals looking for a quick and widely available measure of these traditional indicators.

Keywords: Facebook; health care information technology; hospital quality; public health research; social media.

MeSH terms

  • Hospital Mortality
  • Hospitals / standards*
  • Hospitals / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • New York
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care / methods*
  • Quality Indicators, Health Care
  • Quality of Health Care / standards*
  • Quality of Health Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Social Media* / statistics & numerical data