Healthcare News & Insights

New site rates hospitals based on Twitter feedback

Can you tell how well a hospital is doing using Twitter? A group of researchers say yes, and they’ve created a website to rank facilities based on the feedback they receive through the social media site. 

social-media-conceptThe site,, was inspired by a study where researchers from Harvard and Boston Children’s Hospital looked at thousands of tweets to find patterns in the messages people were directing at hospitals through the social media site.

According to an article in the Boston Globe, researchers selected tweets that either expressed anger or gratitude toward a hospital. Then they used this data to create an algorithm that would help them determine how many positive and negative messages a hospital received.

Through their analysis, researchers noticed an interesting fact: Hospitals that received the most positive feedback from patients on Twitter also had some of the lowest 30-day readmissions rates.

With this information as a starting point, the team created as a way to measure patient satisfaction with a hospital in real time – and to rate hospitals’ quality of care based on patients’ perceptions.

The researchers decided to make their findings available publicly online because they believe the data may be “a potentially untapped indicator of quality that may be valuable to patients, researchers, policy makers and hospital administrators.”

How it works

Users can search for a hospital on, and the website will display the most recent tweets directed toward the facility. The tweet stream comes with a graph to represent whether patients feel positively or negatively toward the hospital based on online feedback.

Hospitals only appear in the rankings if they’re on Twitter and have over 20 tweets directed toward them. About half the nation’s hospitals have some kind of Twitter presence, so the site has an extensive database of hospitals.

Facilities that have earned top rankings on for their care include Seattle Children’s Hospital, the Mayo Clinic and Boston Children’s Hospital.

Besides ranking each hospital based on its public sentiment on Twitter, also rates hospitals based on how active they are on the social media site. It lists the facilities that have the most followers on Twitter – and those that write the most tweets.

Tool for hospitals

If your hospital has a Twitter account, visiting can give you a good idea of how patients perceive the care they received at your facility – along with their experience in general. Patients and their families tweet about everything from long wait times to successful treatments.

It’s also a good way to look at how other hospitals in your area are performing and whether patients are having better experiences at competing facilities.

Combined, this data can help you see, in real time, where your hospital is doing well regarding patient care, along with the areas to improve.

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