Consumers can go to Google, Yelp and Facebook for crowdsourced insight about the experiences they will have at a hospital, but they should not expect foolproof guidance on the quality of care they will receive, according to new Indiana University research. Researchers compared social media ratings offered by patients with the extensive data available through the federal government’s “Hospital Compare” website. Their key finding on patient experience — food, friendliness, amenities — the Google, Yelp and Facebook ratings most often aligned with hospitals that are highly ranked by Hospital Compare for patient experience based on surveys. On quality of care and safety as measured on Hospital Compare, the Google, Yelp and Facebook ratings were not as accurate. In fact, 20 percent of the hospitals rated “best” within a local market on social media were rated “worst” in that market by Hospital Compare on patient health outcomes. The study results indicate that crowdsourced ratings reflect measures of quality most easily observed, which is not all that matters in health care.
- Do Crowdsourced Hospital Ratings Coincide with Hospital Compare Measures of Clinical and Nonclinical Quality? Health Service Research. August 2018
- Related press release: Patient beware: Indiana University researchers diagnose crowdsourced hospital ratings