A new healthcare quality metric: Facebook 'likes'

By Christina Thielst
10:07 AM

Imagine checking Facebook to identify the quality of care provided at your hospital or to assess patient satisfaction with the experience. Researchers looked at New York hospital mortality rates from Hospital Compare and compared them to their number of Facebook “likes” and actually found a statistically significant relationship.

The actual data is that each percentage point drop in mortality, corresponded with nearly 93 more Facebook “likes”.  

It makes sense… if a hospital has truly engaged their community and their patients experience exceptional care, there is a better chance that they will “like” those facilities on Facebook. When I look at what I’ve “liked” on Facebook, it is that which I perceive to be exceptional. I’m not “liking” the ordinary!

The most informed consumers will look at both the hospital's actual mortality rate and their number of Facebook "likes".  In the grand scheme of things it really is today’s “word of mouth” and one more data point for consumes to consider when making decisions about their care. Add it to the list with Yelp, Foursquare, HealthGrades and Hospital Compare!

Read the entire report in the American Journal of Medical Quality.