Yelp gets into hospital review business

Will feature ER wait times, patient reviews and more
By Erin McCann
10:53 AM
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The popular crowd-sourced review site Yelp is teaming up with an unlikely partner to put more healthcare facility data and reviews into the hands of the consumer.

In efforts to broaden its reach beyond retail and restaurants, the San Francisco-based Yelp on Aug. 5 announced it would be inking a deal with with nonprofit news organization ProPublica to integrate data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services onto the business pages of more than 25,000 healthcare facilities in the U.S.

CMS data slated to be integrated with Yelp reviews include its hospital, nursing home and dialysis compare dataset, reporting on 4,600 hospitals; 15,000 nursing homes and 6,300 dialysis centers across an extensive set of metrics.

"Hover text on the business page will explain the statistics, which include number of serious deficiencies and fines per nursing home and emergency room wait times for hospitals," explained Jeremy Stoppelman, Yelp CEO, in an Aug. 5 blog post announcing the partnership. Metrics like average emergency wait times, average patient survival rates and patient experience survey data will all be incorporated.

[See also: Hospitals go clean, post doc reviews.]

Yelp is already the No. 1 destination for consumers looking for physician reviews, with 27 percent of consumers consulting the site for doc reviews, according to data from Software Advice – even slightly above Healthgrades and RateMDs.

Now, they're focusing their efforts on hospitals.

[See also: See which hospitals earned worst scores for hospital-acquired infections (list, map).]

Now consumers, as Stoppelman described, "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."