Yelp Adds Hospital Wait Times, Nursing Home Fine Info To Reviews

An example of the new statistics users can find for health facilities on Yelp. [via Yelp]

An example of the new statistics users can find for health facilities on Yelp. [via Yelp]

When a trip to the emergency room is in order, you’re usually in a hurry, because, after all, it’s an emergency. Sitting around waiting to be seen by a doctor can be an agonizing experience for those in need of quick help. While Yelp can’t hurry along those doctors, it can apparently tell you just how long you might expect to be camped out in the hospital E.R.

The review site announced today that through a partnership with ProPublica it will provide additional information on the profiles of more than 25,000 U.S.-based hospital, nursing homes and dialysis clinics.

Health facility business listings will now include a text box on the right side of the page that details the newly available statistics, such as the number of serious deficiencies and fines imposed on a facility, payment suspensions, number of beds available, and the average emergency wait times for hospitals.

As an example, Yelp points to the listing for West Kendall Baptist Hospital, which now shows the facility has better than average doctor communication and an average wait time of 33 minutes in the E.R.

Information added to the medical facilities’ business pages are generated through health care statistics and consumer opinion survey data and compiled by ProPublica, in addition to its own information and that of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

In all, Yelp says the data – which will be updated quarterly – covers 4,600 hospitals, 15,000 nursing homes, and 6,300 dialysis clinics.

While the Washington Post points out that most of the newly supplied information is already available through the Medicare Hospital Compare webpage, Yelp contends that the data presented there is often difficult for consumers to find and understand.

“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,” Jeremy Stoppelman, Yelp CEO, said in the blog post announcement.

Yelp likened the new step to its previous partnerships with local governments that allowed the company to add information such as restaurant inspection scores to business profiles.

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