Journal of Excellence in Nursing and Healthcare Practice




Social media has had an impact on how patients find and evaluate medical professionals and their experiences of modern healthcare. Qualitative research in healthcare has increased its focus on social media. The present study examined 497 reviews of hospitals in the Pittsburgh area across three websites: Google, Yelp, and Healthgrades. Using computerized content analysis tools (CATA), we analyzed positive and negative comments to identify key themes. Key themes and words included “doctor,” “hospital,” “staff,” and “time.” These findings highlight the importance of medical staff to patient experience. Results indicated that Yelp had the lowest average rating. CATA also revealed that the central term for Google reviews was “hospital,” for Healthgrades reviews it was “doctor,” and the central term for Yelp reviews was “patient.” These central terms reflect the focus of each website. The present study highlights the importance of healthcare professionals understanding the source of reviews and being cautious about how social media comments are used in decision-making about the practice. Future research should try to expand this approach to other cities and countries to evaluate cross-cultural effects on social media comments.