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Posted on 08.20.2015

Yelp for Healthcare

If you’re like me, you often consult Yelp – especially when traveling – to identify highly rated food, shopping and entertainment options. But have you considered referring to Yelp for information on hospitals, nursing homes or ER wait times?

Yelp is adding a ton of healthcare data to its review pages, the Washington Post recently reported, working in partnership with nonprofit news source ProPublica. Perhaps Yelp heard the cry of a columnist for The Atlantic who, in October 2012, wrote on the subject “Why We’re Still Waiting on the ‘Yelpification’ of Health Care.”

As both articles point out, tremendous healthcare data is and has been available online from sources like Healthgrades and Medicare’s Hospital Compare, but Yelp executives contend the information is often difficult to locate and hard to sift through. The Yelp solution couples its consumer-oriented and user-friendly platform with data “that might live in some government PDF…and putting it in a context where it makes sense for people who may be in the middle of making critical decisions,” according to Yelp Vice President for Policy Luther Lowe as quoted in the Post’s article.

There are some pretty interesting Health & Medical categories, ranging from the fairly obvious – dentists, doctors, ERs and urgent care – to cannabis clinics, doulas, habilitative services, reiki and tattoo removal.

For those organizations so inclined, remember Yelp makes it possible for every business owner or manager to set up a free account to post photos and message customers, in addition to being a source of user reviews. If you haven’t already done so, claim your business page on Yelp and add it to your social media monitoring dashboard to stay on top of reviews of your organization.

The reminder here for communicators and marketers – healthcare included – is that consumers want information and data that is easy to find and access. And the voice of the customer is increasingly influential as social platforms make it easier for users to review your organization and services.

 

Dana Coleman is a Vice President at Lovell Communications. You can view more of Dana’s blogs here. Connect with Dana at Dana@lovell.com or @lovelldc

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