Hospitals, doctors and the health care system as a whole have become ever more focused on measuring the quality of the care patients receive. And with good reason: as the system leans ever more towards tying reimbursements to quality, everyone recognizes that you can’t improve quality if you’re not measuring it.
Of the many ways one can look at quality in an inpatient setting, patient experience has earned a lot of attention. Hospitals, payors, survey vendors and government agencies are spending millions to develop, deploy and analyze tools like the adult and child Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and System (HCAHPS) surveys, which give voice to patients and their concerns about the care they receive.
Are there other ways to hear what patients are saying? Jared Hawkins, MMSc, PhD, of Boston Children’s Hospital’s Computational Health Informatics Program (CHIP), Boston Children’s chief innovation officer, John Brownstein, PhD, and their colleagues wanted to see whether they could harness the power of social media—specifically, Twitter—to supplement survey-based methods. Their data, published in the journal BMJ Quality & Safety, give encouraging hints, but it’s too early to retire those patient surveys just yet. …Read More