More ‘Likes’ = Lower Mortality?

Facebook may really have an impact on health! According to a new study published by the American Journal of Medical Quality, hospitals with more Facebook “likes” tend to have lower death rates.

The study surveyed all 82 hospitals within a 25-mile radius of New York City. Forty of those hospitals had Facebook pages. The researchers then examined the relationship between 30-day mortality rates, measured by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and their specific hospital’s corresponding number of Facebook “likes.” The study also examined relationships between “likes” and patient recommendations from surveys.

The survey revealed some interesting findings. The hospitals with more “likes” on Facebook had fewer deaths and more positive recommendations within the 30-day period. In contrast, hospitals with fewer Facebook “likes” had a higher morality rate within those same 30 days.

The number of posts by the hospital also had an impact on engagement and sentiment about the hospital. There was a positive trend when the hospital admins included more posts and actively engaged with fans on their Facebook page, compared to pages that had little engagement between the hospital staff and its Facebook fans. This suggests an engaged social media presence correlates with a positive hospital experience.

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