On August 5, Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman used his official blog to announce that the company has added a healthcare section to its popular review service. If it catches on, it seems a safe bet that it will one day expand from hospitals and physicians to the post-acute side of healthcare. Mr. Stoppelman put it this way:
Today we're excited to announce we’ve joined forces with ProPublica1 to incorporate health care statistics and consumer opinion survey data onto the Yelp business pages of more than 25,000 medical treatment facilities. We couldn’t be more excited to partner with ProPublica, the Pulitzer Prize winning non-profit newsroom that produces investigative journalism in the public interest.
The information is compiled by ProPublica from their own research and from 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. 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.
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.
Beyond providing all kinds of helpful information, we also protect consumers by shielding them from attempts by business owners and others to mislead them with false, incomplete or biased information. That's why we launched Yelp’s Consumer Alerts, why we actively enforce our policy requiring firsthand experiences and relevancy, and why we use recommendation software to only recommend reviews that best reflect the opinions of the Yelp community.
And we have much more planned. We're aiming to add more restaurant health scores for cities and counties across the US on Yelp. We're working with cities to provide a feed of Yelp restaurant reviews to aid planning decisions for inspections and faster discovery of outbreaks. We also hope to expand our partnership with ProPublica in the future to include additional categories of information, and have already shared a data set from Yelp’s vast collection of user generated content to inform their research and reporting.
Internally, we refer to all these efforts under the collective umbrella of Yelp's Consumer Protection Initiative. But it might just be easier to say: Yelp's got your back.
With Yelp on its way toward other healthcare branches, we have published an article in this week's issue teaching ways to manage your inevitable Yelp account. It is in an easy-to-understand "Do This; Don't Do That" format and can be found here.
ProPublica on ProPublica
ProPublica is an independent, non-profit newsroom that produces investigative journalism in the public interest. Our work focuses exclusively on truly important stories, stories with “moral force.” We do this by producing journalism that shines a light on exploitation of the weak by the strong and on the failures of those with power to vindicate the trust placed in them.
To expose abuses of power and betrayals of the public trust by government, business, and other institutions, using the moral force of investigative journalism to spur reform through the sustained spotlighting of wrongdoing.
©2015 by Rowan Consulting Associates, Inc., Colorado Springs, CO. All rights reserved. This article originally appeared in Tim Rowan's Home Care Technology Report. homecaretechreport.com One copy may be printed for personal use; further reproduction by permission only. firstname.lastname@example.org