'Doctor screwed up' and other tweets help researchers mine patient error data

Improving patient safety is critically dependent on the use of error-reporting systems, but these systems are often neither attractive to patients nor effective at engaging them. It turns out patients accustomed to using Twitter are both engaged and attracted to the social media platform as a tool for sharing clinical experiences gone awry.

In a new Journal of Patient Safety study, researchers mined publicly accessible tweets written in English from across the globe using a set of relevant phrases, such as the charming "doctor screwed up." Between January and August 2012, the authors used  Twitter's search function to identify tweets that matched the relevant phrases and broke down the 1,006 that made the cut by type:

  • 26 percent of the tweets were related to procedural errors
  • 23 percent were medication errors
  • 23 percent were diagnostic errors
  • 14 percent were surgical errors

Of the 850 tweets that identified the tweeter, 90 percent came from the patient and 9 percent from family members. Some also indicated the tweeter's feelings about their experience.

More articles on quality:

UVA Medical Center to make patient outcomes data public
Prophecy Healthcare launches HCAHPS nursing primer module
Reducing HAI risk through more effective environmental cleaning 

Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars