Yelp is not just for complaining about slow cashiers and cold french fries anymore. According to a recent report from Time magazine, the consumer review website will soon list the wait times of certain medical facilities.
The nonprofit group ProPublica has released responses to a survey conducted by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, detailing information about emergency department facilities across the country. Factor such as how well doctors communicate, how noisy certain rooms are, and how long you may expect to wait were all addressed by the survey.
This data means that Yelp users can compare hospitals side by side, based on certain factors of each facility. If comparing the local emergency room to the local urgent care clinic, a Yelp user can see that the urgent care has an average wait time of less than 20 minutes, and can likely provide more immediate care for their medical emergency. Luther Lowe, Yelp policy vice president, told the Washington Post:
“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 policy vice president, according to the Washington Post.
Yelp hopes to make it easier for people to have a clear review of the facility they choose in their next medical emergency. Unfortunately, the data is in the early stages of collection, so it doesn’t provide quite enough information to paint a complete picture of the kind of care patients can expect. The official Medicare.gov tool to compare hospitals also takes into consideration staff protocol participation, room cleanliness, and the quality of pain management.
Businesses related to health make up for 6% of all business searches. If this survey can continue to add more information about medical facilities and their individual care quality factors, Yelp can expect a decent surge in app popularity, as well as in reviewer participation.