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Hospitals 'should consider Twitter for patient feedback'

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.

Readers' comments (7)

  • michael stone

    I'm in favour of every means of letting patients give feedback to the NHS - a few surveys, with simple yes/no answers to questions written by the NHS, isn't an adequate 'feedback collection methodology'.

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  • heard of all the malicious trolls on twitter?

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  • Maybe searching for titter at work might not be the brightest idea ...

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  • michael stone

    Are you trying to introduce the old court-room joke ?

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  • Twits!

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  • tinkerbell

    michael stone | 24-May-2014 3:22 pm

    go on then, what's the old court room joke?

    Anonymous | 24-May-2014 5:05 pm

    far from it. Give it a try and you might be able to get your message out there, whatever you might feel passionately about. Social media is making a big change to planet earth, there's nowhere to hide, people power! Those who say it can't be done shouldn't stand in the way of those who are doing it!


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  • Tiger Girl

    tinkerbell | 25-May-2014 11:26 am

    michael stone | 24-May-2014 3:22 pm

    go on then, what's the old court room joke?




    I assume it is the now non-pc one, about a foreign court system based on media reports from the English papers, where the punchline was 'and a small titter ran round the court'. Coyness prevents me from repeating the whole joke.

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