Yelp, a consumer review company has announced an innovative partnership with New York-based investigative journalism not-for-profit ProPublica to integrate health care statistics and consumer opinion survey data onto the Yelp business pages of more than 25,000 medical treatment facilities.
The information is compiled by ProPublica from their own research and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for 4,600 hospitals, 15,000 nursing homes, and 6,300 dialysis clinics in the US and will be updated quarterly. While the data is readily available on Medicare’s Hospital Compare website, Yelp executives state the site user interface (UI) is too cumbersome for the average consumer to navigate for insights.
Now the millions of consumers who use Yelp to find and evaluate everything from restaurants to retail will have even more information at their fingertips when they are in the midst of the most critical life decisions, like which hospital to choose for a sick child or which nursing home will provide the best care for aging parents,” explained Jeremy Stoppelman, Yelp CEO, in a blog post announcing the partnership.
For example, hospital pages on Yelp will now include Medicare data on:
- Number of beds
- Fines paid, serious deficiencies, & payment suspensions
- A facility’s average emergency department wait time
- Patient-reported information on physician communication
- The noise level in patient rooms.
Yelp is the most popular site for online physician reviews followed by Healthgrades and RateMDs, according to recent survey conducted by Software Advice on how patients use online reviews. The survey findings indicate that positive patient reviews on sites like Yelp is becoming increasingly necessary to attract and retain patients, particularly as the healthcare industry shift towards a patient-centric model.
Yelp businesses in the health category currently only make up 6 percent of reviewed businesses; however, executives hope that with additional health data, the number of reviews will increase. “”We’re taking data that otherwise might live in some government pdf that’s hard to find and we’re putting it in a context where it makes sense for people who may be in the middle of making critical decisions,” said Luther Lowe, Yelp’s vice president for policy in an interview with the Washington Post.