The value of Facebook in nation-wide hospital quality assessment: a national mixed-methods study in Norway.

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The value of Facebook in nation-wide hospital quality assessment: a national mixed-methods study in Norway.

BMJ Qual Saf. 2019 Aug 24;:

Authors: Bjertnaes O, Iversen HH, Skyrud KD, Danielsen K

OBJECTIVES: The objective was to assess the possibility of using a combination of official and unofficial Facebook ratings and comments as a basis for nation-wide hospital quality assessments in Norway.
METHODS: All hospitals from a national cross-sectional patient experience survey in 2015 were matched with corresponding Facebook ratings. Facebook ratings were correlated with both case-mix adjusted and unadjusted patient-reported experience scores, with separate analysis for hospitals with official site ratings and hospitals with unofficial site ratings. Facebook ratings were also correlated with patient-reported incident scores, hospital size, 30-day mortality and 30-day readmission. Facebook comments from 20 randomly selected hospitals were analysed, contrasting the content and sentiments of official versus unofficial Facebook pages.
RESULTS: Facebook ratings were significantly correlated with most patient-reported indicators, with the highest correlations relating to unadjusted scores for organisation (0.60, p<0.000) and nursing services (0.57, p<0.000). Facebook ratings were significantly correlated with hospital size (-0.40, p=0.003) and 30-day mortality (0.31, p=0.040). Sentiment analysis showed that 84.7% of the comments from unofficial Facebook sites included neutral comments that did not give any specific description of experiences of the quality of care at the hospital. Content analysis identified common themes on official and unofficial Facebook pages.
CONCLUSIONS: Facebook ratings were associated with patient-reported indicators, hospital size, and 30-day mortality. Qualitative comments from official Facebook are more relevant for hospital evaluation than unofficial sites. More research is needed on using Facebook ratings as a standalone indicator of patient experiences in national quality measurement, and such ratings should be reported together with research-based patient experience indicators and with explicit criteria for the inclusion of unofficial sites.

PMID: 31446423 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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