Linking social media and medical record data: a study of adults presenting to an academic, urban emergency department

In BMJ Quality and Safety, Kevin Padrez and colleagues, including David Asch and Raina Merchant, explore the acceptability to patients and potential utility to researchers of a database linking patients’ social media content with their electronic medical record (EMR) data. The authors approached adult Facebook/Twitter users who presented to an emergency department. Many patients were willing to share and link their social media data with EMR data. Patients that shared their social media data were younger, more likely to post at least once a day, and more likely to present to the emergency room via self-arrival mode and have private insurance as compared to those that declined to share their data. The authors suggest that a database that merges social media with EMR data has the potential to provide insights about individuals’ health and health outcomes.

See the LDI news story on this study.