Some Thoughts on the List of Top 20 Most Popular Hospitals on Twitter

I have never met Ed Bennett in person but I have been following his blog since he started it and he sounds like a great guy. Ed is a Hospital Web Manager at the University of Maryland and we first communicated via his Twitter account and the comments on my blog last December. Ed had so many great questions and ideas that I suggested he started a blog, if for nothing else, just to expand beyond the 140 characters on Twitter.

The list of the Top 20 Most Popular Hospitals on Twitter was posted on Ed's blog yesterday:

1) Mayo Clinic Rochester – @mayoclinic – [6,626]
2) Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center – @Aurora_Health – [4,659]
3) St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital – @StJude - [3,442]
4) Children’s National Medical Center – @childrenshealth – [3,030]
5) Scripps Memorial Hospital – @ScrippsHealth – [2,947]
6) Children’s Medical Center Dallas – @ChildrensTheOne – [2,816]
7) Henry Ford Hospital – @HenryFordNews -[2,689]
8) University of Maryland Medical Center – @ummc - [2,596]
9) UNC Health Care – @UNC_Health_Care – [2,582]
10) Seattle Children’s Hospital – @seattlechildren – [2,551]
11) University of Michigan Health System – @UMHealthSystem – [2,526]
12) Sherman Health – @ShermanHealth – [2,472]
13) University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics – @uwhealth – [2,446]
14) Cleveland Clinic CME – @cleveclinic_cme – [2,440]
15) DMC Detroit Medical Center – @DMC_heals – [2,270]
16) Ohio State University Hospital – @OSUMC – [2,164]
17) Lifebridge Health – @LBHealth – [2,064]
18) University of Tennessee Medical Center – @utmedicalcenter – [1,854]
19) Phoenix Children’s Hospital - @PhxChildrens - [1,800]
20) Mercy Health System – @mercyhealth – [1,760]
Ranking is determined by the [number of Followers].

There are a few surprises since the ranking definitely does not much the list of America's Best Hospitals published every year by the U.S. News & World Report:

1 Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore
2 Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.
3 Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles
4 Cleveland Clinic
5 Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston
6 New York-Presbyterian University Hospital of Columbia and Cornell
7 University of California, San Francisco Medical Center
8 Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
9 Barnes-Jewish Hospital/Washington University, St. Louis
10 Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston

One can say with the certainty that it pays off for Mayo Clinic to have a dedicated social media person (or is it section now?) - Mayo is handily at the top of the list with 6,600 Twitter followers.

One of the strange things is that a single doctor (@DrVes, me) can easily make list based solely on the numbers of followers (2,370). It turns out that the Top 20 Most Popular Hospitals on Twitter may not be so popular after all, if @kevinmd has more followers than the bottom 7 on the list combined. Of course, this is only the start and I am sure that the PR departments, quickly renamed "social media" departments, will be able to catch up by late 2010, or early 2011.

Comments from Twitter:

MedCity Newsmedcitynews I think hospitals are better off setting up Twitter accounts for docs than having hospital accounts. P

How Should Hospitals Use Twitter?
Top U.S. Hospitals Are On Twitter


  1. Ranking these things solely on followers is ludacris. It holds no water and is one of the most irrelevant measurements there is. We need instead to start finding better algorithms to come up with scores. Some ideas might include follow/followers ratio, broadcast/engagement Tweet's ratio, Tweet's that were re-Tweeted, etc.

    Ed has done a great job compiling this list, and now we need to step in and help put it to use. As it exists now, with rankings like this, all we are encouraging is an arms race.

  2. Ves,

    There's also a list of the Top Hospitals by Specialty in the U.S.