Hospitals: more likes mean fewer deaths, research shows
According to a new study published in the American Journal of Medical Quality, likes on a hospital’s Facebook page are positively associated with the percentage of recommendations for that hospital, and every percentage point decrease in a hospital’s mortality rate meant nearly 93 more likes on its page. In fact, researchers found that likes were more predictive of mortality rates than patient recommendations!
The study also found that teaching hospitals have a lower number of likes than traditional hospitals, perhaps reflecting quality problems at these locations.
However, the researchers note that very few hospitals have jumped on the social media bandwagon: of the 82 New York-area facilities sampled, less than half have a Facebook page.
“Any hospital can start a Facebook page, but those with higher levels of quality and patient satisfaction are more likely to attract likes to their page,” states the report. “Public health researchers and hospitals can use Facebook likes as a proxy for hospital quality and patient satisfaction.”
Indeed, we already use social media to compare products and services before making a purchase, so it was only a matter of time before we started using it to compare other vital components of life. If this like-to-mortality rate trend continues then hospitals will have to bring their social media strategies up to speed quick sharp. Or as is the case for many, put one in place to begin with.