Use of social media websites, such as Titter, could provide another avenue for collecting feedback on patient experience, according to researchers from Imperial College London.
They analysed 198,499 tweets sent to English hospitals over a year and found 11% contained information about care quality, with patient experience the
most frequent topic. The majority, 77%, were “positive in tone”, said the authors in the journal BMJ Quality & Safety.
Other topics mentioned in tweets included messages of support to patients, fundraising activity, self-promotion and dissemination of health information.
The study authors said: “Paying attention to the views of patients via social media adds to a wide collection of other information sources such as surveys, complaints and adverse incident reporting through which a hospital organisation can understand the quality and safety of the care it provides.
“In addition, if the public is aware that health services are monitoring this channel, they may become more likely to leave comments about their experiences of care,” they added.