By on

This week, Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman announced the latest expansion of the LIVES open data standard: healthcare statistics and consumer opinion survey data, via a new partnership with Pulitzer-Prize-winning newsroom ProPublica. 

This means that millions of consumers can now visit Yelp to view patient reviews and access important medical information before they decide on where to go for healthcare services and treatment. When available, the data is displayed on the Yelp business page of hospitals, clinics, and other kinds of healthcare facilities (including nursing homes and senior care centers).

The new medical information ranges from emergency room waiting times and number of beds, to patient survival rates and doctor communication information.

How to Claim Your Business Page on Yelp


Open Data Partnership

Earlier this year, online review site Yelp announced a partnership with open data company Socrata to distribute restaurant health inspection information to its local business pages, and, in the process, help improve public health conditions in communities around the world.

The partnership was part of Yelp’s LIVES open data standard (Local Inspector Value-Entry Specification), which seeks to incorporate government-sourced information into Yelp’s business pages – not only to add legitimacy to the site’s online reviews, but also to help Yelp users make more educated purchase decisions.

Stoppelman explained in a company blog post: “The information is compiled by ProPublica from their own research and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for 4,600 hospitals, 15,000 nursing homes, and 6,300 dialysis clinics in the US and will be updated quarterly. Hover text on the Yelp business page will explain the statistics, which include number of serious deficiencies and fines per nursing home and emergency room wait times for hospitals.”

Added Yelp VP of Public Policy Luther Lowe in a Wired report: “People aren’t typing ‘emergency room Santa Monica’ into Yelp for fun. They’re on their way to the hospital trying to figure out which one has the shortest waiting time… It makes so much sense to put government data in the context where people are actually going to rely on it.”

Healthcare consumers rely on online reviews

The partnership with ProPublica should strengthen Yelp’s position as a top resource for consumers who are hoping to find doctors and healthcare providers. According to a recent survey, Yelp is the most used – and most trusted – review site for patients looking for a provider, ranking ahead of other sites like Healthgrades, RateMDs, Vitals, and ZocDoc.

In general, healthcare seekers seem to love reviews: as much as 61 percent of patients use review sites like Yelp prior to choosing a provider, while 20 percent will check reviews to evaluate their current providers.

“We hope to expand our partnership with ProPublica in the future to include additional categories of information,” added Stoppelman, “and we have already shared a data set from Yelp’s vast collection of user-generated content to inform their research and reporting.”

Migs Bassig

Migs is the Content Manager for ReviewTrackers. He's a creative writer who has helped numerous companies communicate more effectively online, and he loves sharing his local marketing knowledge to help brands and business succeed.


  1. Eleonora G.

    I think that it’s terrific. Now I can check the doctors reviews before eventually heading to visit one of them, This way I can skip the “so called DOCTORS” who have no clue about treating patience. This is a great addition and I am looking forward to start using it.

  2. Milan

    I’m not going to believe Yelp reviews about anything anymore! I chose the doctor based on these user reviews and was bitterly disappointed by the well-praised doctor. Thanks, but no, thanks.

  3. Fridtjof Salomon

    Why would anyone rely on these reviews? I mean, there are plenty of fake reviews all across Yelp, so why even bothering to read them? A good doctor does not need reviews. Satisfied patience will always return to them.

  4. Melanie Johnson

    I see nothing wrong with it. Of course I want to know other people’s experience before I take my son to a hospital. I don’t want a butcher treating his illness!

  5. Rylan Howie

    It’s great to know the waiting time before you decide to go to the emergency. Unfortunately, you are not always in position to choose when you have and emergency doctor visit. In the most of the cases, you go to the nearest one.

  6. newmediaist12

    These are some really great news. Finally I can pick a doctor by reading his reviews.

  7. Bryan Jake T

    Well this is something refreshing and positive. I believe that all customer related, large business’ should be available to reviews at any place. It’s a matter of trust and reliability.

  8. Gayle

    Finally, I can start using another site for searching specialists. I was using Oogle, but I found out that they are cheating with the reviews. I read an article about a doctor who’s reviews were broken down from 5 star to 3-4 stars, just because he refused to pay their annual fee.