Facebook has been making headlines quite a bit this month, and not just because the social networking giant has updated its newsfeed (yes, again). A study published in the American Journal of Medial Quality last month found that hospitals with more Facebook "likes" tend to have higher hospital quality and increased patient satisfaction.
According to the study, which looked at data for 40 hospitals near New York City, Facebook likes have a strong negative association with 30-day mortality rates and are positively associated with patient recommendation.
Researchers believe these findings suggest that the number of likes a hospital has may serve as an indicator of hospital quality and patient satisfaction.
Of course, a lot of this is cause and effect. Top ranking hospitals would likely garner many Facebook likes even if their page was static, but many of the nation's best hospitals are doing some really interesting work in the social space.
To find out more, I spoke to Laura Nathan-Garner, program manager, integrated media communications, at Texas-based MD Anderson Cancer Center, which has more than 51,000 likes on Facebook. I learned that there are three building blocks at the foundation of a successful hospital Facebook presence.