Measuring Hospital Quality with Social Media

After seeing all the talk at last week’s HIMSS (Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society) conference about data, I paid particular attention to a study my colleague found last month from the American Journal of Medical Quality (via iHealthBeat).

The study shows a correlation between Facebook ‘likes’ and patient recommendations as well as declines in 30-day mortality rates.

Granted, the ‘hospital quality via Facebook’ study only looked at 40 hospitals, all in New York City, so it might be hard to generalize much from the correlations, but the more important point is (as the authors said) that “free, widely accessible data made available via social media will continue to find a place in academic assessment of hospital quality.”

Not only will social media data be important in academic assessments: To quote National Coordinator for Health IT Farzad Mostashari from the HIMSS conference, “Your ability to manage information is going to be part of doing business.” [Emphasis added.]

As the AJMQ study suggests, some useful healthcare business information might come from a social networking medium like Facebook. Indeed, Fathom’s upcoming webinar on Thursday is about social media for business planning: “Using Social Media Data To Drive Real Business Results.”

There is still time to register, and the information covered will apply to both healthcare and non-healthcare organizations, as well as B2B and B2C businesses.

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Photo courtesy of owenwbrown via Flickr.

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