Heading to the ER? Use Twitter to find hospitals with the best care

If you've ever wondered how pleasant an experience you can expect at your local hospital, you might be able to get an idea from data provided by an unexpected source -- Twitter. CrowdClinical, a site in HealthMap, analyzes tweets shared by patients describing their experiences in hospitals. Through the use of supervised machine learning, natural language processing, and manual curation, tweets shared by patients are used to identify and rate hospitals in terms of trustworthiness, quality of health care, and patient satisfaction.

Although CrowdClinical has only been monitoring tweets for hospital information since February 22, 2015, they have been able to create a list of the top 10 hospital rankings to date. These compilations include lists of the hospitals with the most followers, which according to CrowdClinical is an indication of the hospital's social media success, as well as the hospitals with the most active engagement on Twitter, indicating that the hospital is in "listening mode" and possibly more attentive to patients.

The Mayo Clinic (@mayoclinic) leads in having the most followers, with 1,214,922 of them, and Kaiser Permanente snagged first place for being the most active and leading in social media success. Perhaps the more interesting list for patients or prospective patients, though, is the one that rates hospitals in providing the most positive patient experience.

To rate the hospitals that provide the best experience, CloudClinical first detected tweets indicating any type of patient experience and then determined whether the sentiment expressed was positive or negative. Hospitals that had more than 20 such tweets were analyzed for the list. Follow their link for more, but here are the top five of CloudClinical's top 10 hospitals for patient sentiment, based on CloudClinical's rating system:

  1. Seattle Children's Hospital Twitter: @seattlechildren
  2. Mayo Clinic Twitter: @mayoclinic
  3. Boston Children's Hospital Twitter: @bostonchildrens
  4. Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Twitter: @childrensphila
  5. Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Twitter: @danafarber