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Opinion: do hospital 'likes' translate to quality?

U.S. News & World Report, March 15, 2013

Can it be that the number of "likes" on a hospital's Facebook page has something to do with the quality of the hospital? Could be, say researchers at the Healthcare Innovation and Techology Lab, a New York think tank. They state in a recently published analysis that they found a "strong negative, statistically significant relationship" between the number of "likes" on the Facebook pages of 40 New York-area hospitals and the hospitals' 30-day heart attack death rates. The higher the number of likes, in other words, the greater the chance that a hospital had a lower mortality rate. "These findings have implications for researchers and hospitals looking for a quick and widely available measure" of hospital quality, the team stated in their study, which was published online in the "American Journal of Medical Quality."