If you’ve ever taken the time to give Yelp your two cents about a hospital, you’ll be happy to know that someone’s listening and that they’ve deemed the crowd sourced information not only useful — but unique.
In what is believed to be the first large-scale analysis of such data, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania looked at 17,000 Yelp reviews of 1,352 hospitals from consumers. They found that the online information provides a broader sense of a facility than the current gold standard — a U.S. government survey that costs millions of dollars to develop and implement each year.
The Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems Survey or HCAHPS (pronounced “H-Caps”) has been used since 2006 and involves asking discharged patients questions about their stays. It covers 11 main categories including communication with nurses and doctors, responsiveness of staff, the cleanliness and quietness of the hospital environment, and pain management.