April 21, 2017


Yelp for Health: Using the Wisdom of Crowds to Find High-Quality Hospitals (Paul Howard & Yevgeniy Feyman, April 12, 2017, Manhattan Institute)

Online tools like ZocDoc, HealthGrades, and Yelp have become popular among people who search for information about physicians and hospitals. Yelp, one of the most widely used platforms, allows patients to rate health-care providers through a five-star rating system that can include narrative text reviews. In 2015, Yelp partnered with ProPublica to publish average wait times, readmission rates, and the quality of communication scores for more than 25,000 hospitals, nursing homes, and dialysis clinics. According to some research, Yelp reviews correlate with Medicare surveys such as the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS). We don't know, however, how accurate these reviews are for identifying quality doctors and hospitals.

This paper examines whether there is a correlation between Yelp reviews of New York State hospitals and objective measures of hospital quality. We find that higher Yelp ratings are correlated with better-quality hospitals and that they provide a useful, clear, and reliable tool for comparing the quality of different facilities as measured by potentially preventable readmission rates (PPR), a widely accepted metric.

Posted by at April 21, 2017 7:40 AM