Yelp is already a popular way to let your fellow customers know where to take your business and what to watch out for. But what if that same Yelp logic could be applied to our medical providers? It can be, it has been, and Yelp itself is enacting ways to make doing so easier and more informative.
CNN reports that, as of last week, Yelp has begun making itself just as useful for picking doctors and hospitals as it is for picking restaurants. Stats and information have been added for more than 26,000 medical providers nationwide, including nursing homes and dialysis centers. Also on the main Yelp page for hospitals are stats such as ER waiting time, quality of hospital rooms, and reviews of the doctors themselves.
These additions were made possible by a partnership between Yelp and non-profit newsgroup ProPublica, announced on Yelp’s official blog last week. Combining their own research with information from The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, ProPublica was able to provide Yelp with a variety of helpful information to provide users with everything they need to know to pick health care providers in a variety of fields.
Yelp head of public policy Luther Lowe claims that reviewing and evaluating medical services has been part of their mission from the very beginning. The founding of Yelp was, in fact, based on the question of how to find a good doctor online. Even before now, 6 percent of Yelp’s reviews were for medical and health care facilities. Now, with both status updated quarterly and user reviews, Yelp will be able to offer its users the experience it has been wanting to since its founding.
“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.”
Yelp first rolled out a similar method of relaying information back in January of 2013, when it began posting restaurant inspection information prominently on the main page of any restaurants in its system. The positive impact of having crucial health and safety information on hand during decision making is a large part of what prompted the Yelp/ProPublica sponsorship.
While Yelp has apparently seen a drop-off in users recently, this addition to its system may see people returning to the site.
[Image: Nan Palmero/Yelp]