FAQ

Information on HospitalAdvisor

What is HospitalAdvisor?
HospitalAdvisor is a social enterprise which has been developed for the public good. It is an independent, web based platform for patients and their families in Hong Kong. HospitalAdvisor covers all 42 public and 11 private hospitals. The website is in three languages, English, Traditional Chinese, and Simplified Chinese.
What is the aim of HospitalAdvisor?
HospitalAdvisor has two main aims. First, to empower patients with information so that, working with their health care professionals, they can make considered decisions about their hospital care. Second, to celebrate those hospitals that put patient care at the centre of their service delivery.
How does HospitalAdvisor work?
We ask patients, or close relatives of patients, to provide three types of feedback. We ask them to answer some general questions about their hospital stay. We also ask specific survey questions that require a rating. Finally, we ask patients to write something about their hospital experience in the review section which is published on our website.
Most patients aren’t medically trained. Can we rely on patients to give specific objective feedback?
Yes, we can. Research has suggested that patients’ experiences are a good proxy for actual quality of care in hospitals and that good patient experiences can often mean higher levels of safety and clinical success. ( http://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/3/1/e001570.full.pdf ) In addition, in some countries, patient experience surveys are used to identify issues that exist in the hospital.
What should I write in my review?
Tell us everything! We want the good, the great, the bad, anything! This is your chance to tell the world about your hospital experience and your comments might help to improve the care for the next patient. However, in the interest of providing fair and objective information, we ask that you do not make specific references to individuals and tell us about your experiences as a more generic overview. For more information, please see our Review Guidelines here.
Why should I fill out a survey?
HospitalAdvisor is for patients to make better decisions. Completed patient surveys are aggregated to generate quality of care indexes. So, for every survey completed, patients in Hong Kong have access to a clearer picture of the quality of care in hospitals in Hong Kong. The more completed surveys we have, the more useful is the information we generate. Your involvement is invaluable in making HospitalAdvisor a meaningful resource.
Should I complete a survey if I have had a positive experience in a hospital?
Yes, you should. We want patients who have had all kinds of experiences in a hospital to complete the survey - good, not so good, and neutral. But please remember not to include specific names so that the information remains as objective as possible.
Does the hospital know what I’ve written about them?
We take patient confidentiality extremely seriously. The hospital (and everyone else) will only be able to see your username and any comments you wish to post. However, the individual ratings you give on the survey will not be visible as this data is aggregated into a Quality of Care score. The hospital will not be able to see your personal data.
What personal data do I have to give you?
When you register for a user account on the site, we ask for the following information:
  • Mobile number
  • Email address
  • User name
  • Your name
Your mobile number is not stored on our system. It is simply used once to send you a verification code and is deleted from our system once you are registered as a user.
Your name, email address, and username are kept on our secure server and we do not disclose this information, unless required by law. Only your username will be visible to anyone reading your comments. For more information about the personal data you give us and the way we use it, please refer to our Terms and Conditions, Privacy Policy, and Personal Information Collection Statement (PICS).
I’m not in Hong Kong but would like to complete a survey. What should I do?
If you’re not in HK, it may be difficult to register for a user account as we require a working HK mobile number. If you’d like to complete a survey from outside of Hong Kong, email us and we’ll send you the survey. Once completed, email it back to us and we’ll include your responses into our Quality of Care score and print your comments. Please email us at info@hospitaladvisor.org.hk.
What is the Quality of Care score?
HospitalAdvisor gets information about quality of care from patients. We ask patients who have been hospitalized at some point in the last 3 months to fill in a survey. Based on all of these individual surveys that are completed and then aggregated, a mean is calculated and a Quality of Care score is generated for that hospital and that specialty.
The survey questions we ask are very specific and any patient should be able to answer them easily. These questions have been carefully chosen and vetted by our partners and are based on research on patient experience from around the world. More information on our partners is provided below.
Is a Quality of Care score reliable if the number of respondents are below 25?
A Quality of Care score is based on the surveys that patients complete. The fewer the number of surveys, the greater is the likelihood of significant variability in a specific hospital’s rankings over time. For this reason, we publish the number of surveys which make up that specific hospital’s score and you can find that number below each hospital’s ranking.
How do I know that the reviews aren’t made up?
That’s a great question!
Working with our technical team, we’ve identified ways to potentially identify “fake” reviews (both positive and negative) and we’re always looking at new ways to improve our validation process. For this reason, we ask for your mobile number to validate your identity.
How often are the scores updated?
Scores and rankings are updated every night, Hong Kong time.
When are my written comments added?
Unlike the scores, written comments are updated twice a week. If you can’t see your review and it’s been a few days, please email us at support@hospitaladvisor.org.hk
I read a review that is offensive or totally unacceptable, what do I do?
We do not edit reviews, but we do have an inbuilt filtering process to screen foul language in both English and Chinese. This process is not fool proof, so if something offensive has made it onto our website, please let us know at support@hospitaladvisor.org.hk
Do you post every comment?
As we don’t edit reviews, comments that are not consistent with our Review Guidelines are not posted. Please click here for our Review Guidelines.
Can a hospital respond to a patient’s comments?
To encourage greater transparency and interactions between hospitals and patients, we’ve created a system whereby a hospital which registers with us is able to reply to a patient’s comments. The hospital only sees the comments that you’ve posted and not the personal information you’ve provided when you registered with HospitalAdvisor. When a hospital responds, its subject to the same Review Guidelines as everyone else.
The facility/specialty I went to isn’t listed, what do I do?
Right now, HospitalAdvisor focuses exclusively on the 52 official public and private hospitals in Hong Kong. For a list of which hospitals are included, please refer to http://www.dh.gov.hk/english/main/main_orphf/list_ph.html for a list of private hospitals and http://www.ha.org.hk/visitor/ha_visitor_index.asp?Content_ID=10084 for public ones. Unfortunately, if your facility isn’t listed, it means we’re not currently accepting surveys about that location.
I’ve filled in the survey and written a review. How will this help to get better healthcare for everyone?
HospitalAdvisor helps improve healthcare by increasing transparency. Making the hospital process more visible allows patients to learn from each other’s experiences and provides them with more information to have informed discussions with their health care providers. Also, with our rankings, HospitalAdvisor celebrates those hospitals that are providing high levels of quality of care for its patients and encourages hospitals to strive for even better results.
Don’t all hospitals provide good quality of care?
We sincerely believe that all hospitals strive to provide good quality of care, however, each hospital operates with a different culture, resources, and circumstances. These differences make it harder for a patient to determine if a specific hospital or speciality is an optimal fit for their particular circumstances. Currently, when patients have a choice, they often rely on anecdotal information when determining which hospital is best for them. This method can be unreliable and cause patients to make decisions that might not be the best.
Should I choose a hospital based on their Quality of Care score?
There are many factors that determine which hospital is the most appropriate for you and no scoring system can incorporate all of these factors. Our goal is to provide an objective reference to give you more information with which to make an educated choice. Before making any decision, we strongly encourage you to talk to your family, friends, and, most importantly, to the health care professionals with whom you are working. The information on this website should be used as a guide only and should not be a substitute for your own independent research.

Information on us

When was HospitalAdvisor officially launched?
On 18 May 2016 at The Hong Kong Academy of Medicine.
What is the motivation behind HospitalAdvisor?
The founder of HospitalAdvisor is Shalini Mahtani, who is also the co-founder of The Zubin Foundation, a non-profit think tank in HK. In 2009, Shalini’s first born child, Zubin, passed away suddenly. In 2015, she was at Harvard University on an Executive Leadership Programme and was inspired by a professor who spoke about transparency of hospital outcomes. Motivated to make some good come from Zubin’s death, Shalini created HospitalAdvisor to help patients make more informed hospital decisions.
Who are your partners?
We have been working very closely with the Harvard Global Health Institute in developing our process and the questions that form our patient survey. We also worked very closely with Dr. Janice Johnston at The University of Hong Kong, School of Public Health, prior to our launch to validate the cultural aspect of our questions from a Hong Kong perspective.
Who owns HospitalAdvisor?
It is registered as a Hong Kong private limited company and is currently owned between The Zubin Mahtani Gidumal Foundation (“the Foundation”), a registered charity in Hong Kong (IR 91/12344), and Shalini Mahtani. Subject to the approval of the HK Inland Revenue Department, it is our intention for HospitalAdvisor to be majority owned by the Foundation.
How will HospitalAdvisor be financially sustainable?
Currently, HospitalAdvisor is being funded entirely by the founder. Various models of funding are being considered. These include advertising and the generation of reports for sale.
Is HospitalAdvisor linked to any political party?
No.
What is the Chinese name of HospitalAdvisor?
醫智網 (pronounced Eee Tsee Mong)
Will HospitalAdvisor accept advertising money from any company?
We strive to be an ethical company and, as such, we will not accept advertising income from the tobacco and arms industries. To maintain our independence, we will not accept advertising from any Hong Kong hospitals. For full details of our ethical stance, please refer to our Ethics Policy.
How can hospitals be involved on HospitalAdvisor?
We absolutely want hospitals to be involved and we want patients and hospitals to work together for patient-centered care. All 52 hospitals have been invited to provide an email address that our system can contact when their hospital receives a written review and to create an official hospital profile account. Hospitals who agree will have an opportunity to respond to a user’s comments directly on the site through their official hospital account. We want as many hospitals on board as possible so that we’re all able to work together for patient-centred care!
I want to help HospitalAdvisor, how can I get involved?
That’s great! First of all, thank you for believing in us. There’s a number of ways you can help HospitalAdvisor grow and thrive. Here are 4 simple ways:
  • Tell everyone about us on social media!
  • Fill in a survey if you or a close family member has been in hospital in the last 3 months.
  • Donate to The Zubin Foundation, which is currently doing all the work for HospitalAdvisor. Email info@zubinfoundation.org to find out more.
  • Volunteer with us! Email info@hospitaladvisor.org.hk to find out more.
Who is HospAdvisor Admin?
HospAdvisor Admin is the team at HospitalAdvisor. The surveys input by this account refer to those completed in paper copies. Patients or their family members have not completed the survey online.