Background: The US News and World Report reputation score correlates strongly with overall rank in adult and pediatric hospital rankings. Social media affects how information is disseminated to physicians and is used by hospitals as a marketing tool to recruit patients. It is unclear whether the reputation score for adult and children’s hospitals relates to social media presence. Objective: The objective of our study was to analyze the association between a hospital’s social media metrics and the US News 2017-2018 Best Hospital Rankings for adult and children’s hospitals. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional analysis of the reputation score, total score, and social media metrics (Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram) of hospitals who received at least one subspecialty ranking in the 2017-2018 US News publicly available annual rankings. Regression analysis was employed to analyze the partial correlation coefficients between social media metrics and a hospital’s total points (ie, rank) and reputation score for both adult and children’s hospitals while controlling for the bed size and time on Twitter. Results: We observed significant correlations for children’s hospitals’ reputation score and total points with the number of Twitter followers (total points: r=.465, P<.001; reputation: r=.524, P<.001) and Facebook followers (total points: r=.392, P=.002; reputation: r=.518, P<.001). Significant correlations for the adult hospitals reputation score were found with the number of Twitter followers (r=.848, P<.001), number of tweets (r=.535, P<.001), Klout score (r=.242, P=.02), and Facebook followers (r=.743, P<.001). In addition, significant correlations for adult hospitals total points were found with Twitter followers (r=.548, P<.001), number of tweets (r=.358, P<.001), Klout score (r=.203, P=.05), Facebook followers (r=.500, P<.001), and Instagram followers (r=.692, P<.001). Conclusions: A statistically significant correlation exists between multiple social media metrics and both a hospital’s reputation score and total points (ie, overall rank). This association may indicate that a hospital’s reputation may be influenced by its social media presence or that the reputation or rank of a hospital drives social media followers.
- Hospital ranking
- Social media