- Posted by Nigel Edelshain
- On August 10, 2015
- Online reputation management
Yelp is already the first stop for most consumers when they need restaurant, hotel and retail store reviews, and now it’s trying to become the go-to site for hospital reviews as well by adding average emergency room wait times to hospital pages.
The data, provided by ProPublica, is based on Medicare patient satisfaction surveys and was already available on Medicare.gov’s Hospital Compare page, but now it’s easier to find on a site patients already trust for reviews. It covers 4,600 hospitals in the United States and also includes doctor communication and quiet room rankings compared to state averages in addition to ER wait times. And while it’s currently only available on the desktop site, Yelp says it’s coming to mobile devices soon.
Know what patients know about your hospital
With online reviews playing such an important role in healthcare decisions, it’s imperative to know what prospective patients see when they’re researching your hospital. Look for the new information on the right side of your Yelp profile page, right underneath the photos.
It’s also a good idea to see how competing hospitals in your region compare. There’s always room for improvement even if your services are already outstanding, but regional averages will set a benchmark for comparison and improvement.
A move meant to make Yelp a healthcare review leader
Yelp is already one of the most trusted sites for hospital and physician reviews, but currently only 6 percent of reviewed businesses are in its health category. The partnership with ProPublica is clearly part of an initiative to increase that percentage, placing healthcare reviews on the same level as all the other reviews Yelp users consume on a daily basis. It’s sure to appeal to consumers who expect their healthcare experience to be as smooth as any other.
Your online reputation begins offline
Many hospitals are already using Medicare survey responses to identify areas that need improvement, but pressure to correct problems will surely rise when patients realize that the same information is at their fingertips.
As more people turn to Yelp when they make healthcare decisions, it’ll be even more important to manage your hospital’s reputation online. That starts with providing the very best service possible offline, and remembering that wait times and the attitudes of your physicians and staff are just as important to patients as the level of care they receive.