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Most Commonly-Used Word Linked To Negative Hospital Reviews: “Told”

by Sara Foster | Mar 20, 2019

A new survey found that the word “told” is most often associated with negative hospital reviews, while the words “great” and “friendly” are linked to positive reviews. negative-review

As more healthcare organizations post online ratings to meet the consumer demand for online data and information to select providers, these organizations must use the information from the ratings to improve patient experience. The survey, from Penn Medicine, gives emphasis to the importance of excellent communications with patients.

Penn’s survey looked at over 51,000 reviews from 1,566 hospitals over a 12-year period. Machine learning and natural language processing were used to evaluate the reviews. Just over 18% of the reviews received a one-star rating, and the word most associated with those reviews was “told,” as in “I constantly told them that none of that was true and the nurse there wouldn’t believe me.” Additional words associated with bad reviews included:

  • Worst
  • Hours
  • Rude
  • Said
  • No
  • Not

Five-star reviews comprised almost 11% of the reviews looked at in the survey, with the word “friendly” seen most often. Additional words linked to the best reviews included:

  • Great
  • Staff
  • Very
The survey’s lead author said that it is important to remember that the message conveyed is not always the message received. In the healthcare setting, people are often stressed and upset, which can negatively affect how they perceive communications. It’s important for healthcare providers to pay attention to how they talk to patients but to also evaluate what the patient hears. 
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