Study: Facebook “Likes” Just as Good as Any Other Quality Measure

In a study published last month in the American Journal of Medical Quality, researchers compared the activity on the Facebook pages of 40 hospitals in the greater New York City metropolitan region with more traditional methods of measuring hospital quality, including mortality rates and patient experience surveys that hospitals conduct for Medicare.

After controlling for confounding influences, such as the size of a hospital and the length of time it had a Facebook page, the researchers found that hospitals with lots of “Likes” tended to have lower mortality rates and substantially better patient reviews.

Source: Kaiser Health News.

Comments (13)

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  1. Patel says:

    I would “like” this blog post on my facebook account.

  2. Kumar says:

    I am not surprised, when someone is going to like an hospital, it is either because they work there or because they have received a service from there.

  3. Andrew O says:

    This would make some sense as I doubt people would be interested in liking hospital FB pages unless they received some form of good treatment there.

  4. Angel says:

    Facebook should also have a dislike option for these places. Then we would have a better idea of which hospitals to avoid.

  5. Cornelius Sutton says:

    People like things so casually on Facebook, my concern would be that the “likes” don’t really represent what the study assesses them as. Being that this is the first study, I’d like to see it replicated a few more times before I called it reliable but its definitely an interesting finding.

  6. Patel says:

    Angel brings a good point, there should be a dislike option as well. This will keep all the services accountable to their services.

  7. Benedict Popplewell says:

    A lot of theoretical holes exist in this study which make me doubt how robust the findings are. Facebook behavior is very illusive. Perhaps for every one young person who likes the hospital on Facebook there is two old fogeys that don’t even own a computer or have a FB account.

  8. Cindy says:

    It may also be that hospitals with great marketing teams (to drum up support via social media) just hire high quality people across the board.

    That said, while it’s true that people casually like things on Facebook, I doubt I’d ‘like’ a hospital unless they did something really remarkable. Hmm.

  9. Herald says:

    I think facebook is a useful tool for many different purposes.

  10. Yolanda says:

    Sometimes I “like” stuff on facebook just because I’m in a good mood…not because I necessarily “like” them. Realistically speaking, can this be used as an accurate measure of hospitals’ quality of care? Not so sure.

  11. Buster says:

    Wow! Crowd-sourcing information about quality is effective! Other research has found the wisdom of crowds in other areas.

  12. Gabriel Odom says:

    Yolanda, if you are feeling in a good enough mood to “like” a page after being at a hospital, they must have done something right! I know that I am not usually ever in a good mood if I have to go to the hospital.

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