Do Yelp reviews truly measure patient satisfaction? Yep, research shows they can

September 27, 2016

Curious about what consumyelp-2c-outlineers think about your local hospital? Check out It turns out the reviews you’ll find on the website visited by millions of Americans can help identify hospitals that receive high scores for patient satisfaction and quality care.

Over the past few years, researchers have compared Yelp reviews with factors measured in the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey. Aside from having a very long acronym, the HCAHPS survey sets the standard for which patients’ perspectives on hospital care are collected, measured and compared nationally. HCAHPS scores are reflected on the Hospital Compare website hosted by The site enables  consumers to  inquire about a hospital by name or simply find out about the hospital nearest to their home.

Yelp reviews cover most of what’s in the official HCAHPS survey plus more, including insurance and billing, compassion of staff, family member care and the quality of many staff members.

“All of these things are important to patients,” notes a recent New York Times report.

Looking at a one-week period in March 2011, researchers at the University of California, San Francisco compared hospitals that received high ratings on both Yelp and the HCAHPS survey. They found these high ratings significantly correlated with lower death rates within 30 days of discharge and fewer 30-day readmissions of patients suffering from heart failure or pneumonia.

A similar study published in the Journal Health Affairs in April 2016 concluded: “The Yelp measures and analysis can also provide actionable feedback for hospitals.

Voices for Affordable Health offers more websites and resources that help consumers to secure high-quality affordable care at