The Importance of Sentiment Analysis in Healthcare

January 17, 2023

Everyone uses social media. Including your existing and prospective patients. It would amaze you to know that most of your prospective patients go through online reviews about your healthcare service long before contacting your healthcare facility.

Understanding and applying sentimental analysis in your marketing is crucial in gauging overall patient satisfaction and learning the public perception of your healthcare practice. 

Patients have strong sentiments about the health services they receive. Every interaction between your providers and patients is usually associated with a reaction; positive, negative, or neutral. 

The knowledge generated from analyzing your patients' sentiment allows providers to bridge the communication gap between your healthcare organization and your patients. 

Therefore, your healthcare providers can optimize their patient's experience by improving areas patients have complained about in the past. 

What is Sentimental Analysis in Healthcare?

Sentimental analysis in healthcare involves analyzing patient reviews about your healthcare service based on their feelings when providers render care service to them. It helps search out emotions, attitudes, and dispositions based on what people say or think about your hospital. 

Sentiment analysis focuses on polarity (positive, negative, or neutral), but it also focuses on feelings and emotions (angry, happy, sad, etc.), urgency (high or low priority levels), and intentions (interested or not interested)

Today's care consumers have different options for choosing where they receive healthcare. Analyzing patient sentiment gives your healthcare organization a competitive edge over others. It is also a key driver of rapid organizational growth and development. 

Today, hospitals and care facilities focus more on improving patient experience. By offering care services, convenience, and access tailored to the modern patient needs, you quickly make your organization a leading one.

Sentiment analysis hardly needs to be a tedious process. You can use software technology to crawl the web search and analyze patients' online feedback and reviews. 

The basic sentiment analysis methods include:

  • Collecting and analyzing data to detect the most common complaints and compliments. 
  • Classify information based on department, practitioners, and other relevant parameters to further investigate strategies for patient care improvement. 

Importance of Sentiment Analysis for Your Healthcare Organizations 

The sentimental analysis is tailored towards improving service based on patients' feedback and thoughts about your organization providers to get deeper insights into required treatments. 

Here are some importance of patient sentiment analysis; 

Sentiment Analysis In Healthcare Helps Providers Improve Patient Communication

Effective communication is essential in providing quality healthcare to your patients. Sentiment analysis is an excellent tool for feedback in patient-provider interaction. 

Sentiment analysis gives providers a window into their patients' perspectives and lets providers understand their patients better. Sometimes patients want to schedule or cancel appointments easily, have an inquiry that requires an urgent response, or access information. 

It might be challenging to know this communication gap exists without sentiment analysis as a provider—mainly due to the tedious nature of the job. 

With sentiment analysis, it is possible to classify patient comments, reviews, and feedback into various categories in the context of a Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems HCAHPS. This categorization gives room for a more detailed analysis. 

This enables you to assess aspects in patient communications like; communications with nurses, communication with doctors, and responsiveness of the hospital staff. With this, you can quickly examine what factors impact communication with patients and address them accordingly. 

Sentiment Analysis Quantifies Employee And Departmental Performance

Sentiment analysis enables you to identify effective departments (and also departments that may be lagging) in terms of the health service rendered to your patients.

Sentiment analysis aims to paint an overall image of your healthcare facility based on your patient's feelings and perception of the service they receive. In simpler terms, sentiment analysis quantifies these feelings and perceptions.

After quantification, the analysis classifies patient feedback like; department, processes, and people (Nurses or doctors). It then assigns them various scores based on the quantification earlier provided. 

This way, you can identify what patients feel about every aspect of your facility's processes. Then work on the loopholes and build an effective organization where patients can get utmost satisfaction and value.

Below are some examples of feedback your patient might drop about their experience: 

  •  I waited so long before I saw the physician. (Negative) 
  •  Excellent service, but it took time before I got attended to (Neutral)
  •  Excellent service and the service delivery was timely! (Positive)

With sentiment analysis, you can collate such comments. Then you classify them based on their frequency and intensity to know what issues require more urgent attention and act accordingly.

Redefine Marketing Strategies Through Sentiment Analysis

Analyzing patient sentiment is a necessary thing to do while optimizing your marketing strategy. Having your ears out and listening to your patients' opinions about your service will help you channel your processes and methods towards consumer needs. 

Making your facility stand out in this competitive industry starts from understanding the expectations of your care consumers. 

When your patients know you are actively working to produce better services for you, the positive patient sentiment becomes the order of the day over time. 


Be proactive in managing potential crises by consistently monitoring patient portals over social networks. Problems may arise over social issues like the impact of the hospital on the immediate environment and in society at large.

Crises may also arise from patients' bad reviews, particularly when a fatal medical incidence is involved. Such negative patient sentiments may become viral and tarnish the organization's image if you don't take proactive steps. 

Using sentiment analysis software can help you get on top of this potential crisis by alerting you to any of such comments to quickly come up with a proactive response and manage the situation. 

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