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Social Media Ratings of Nursing Homes Associated with Nursing Home Compare Quality Measures, Experience of Care

Emerging evidence suggests that consumer-generated social media ratings of hospitals tend to reflect the more subjective aspects of inpatient care experiences and may also be correlated with clinically-oriented quality measures. A new study published in BMC Health Services Research sought to establish if this is the case for nursing home care. The researchers cite two previous studies analyzing on-line ratings of nursing homes available on Yelp or Facebook that found no or minimal correlation with the 5-star ratings that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) developed based on deficiency of care, nurse staffing, and outcome measures. This study collected on-line consumer ratings of Maryland nursing homes in the most recent two years (2015–17) from 4 popular social media or online review sites (Facebook, Yelp, Google Review, and Caring.com). Researchers then determined if aggregated ratings from these crowdsourcing sites were associated with family-reported care experience scores, and with CMS’ “Nursing Home Compare” 5-star ratings and other quality measures. The study concluded the 5-star ratings collected from 4 social networking sites was correlated with and predictive of the Nursing Home Compare and survey-based experience-of-care measures for Maryland nursing homes.

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