Yelp announced on Wednesday, Aug. 5 that it has partnered with ProPublica to provide consumers not only with subjective reviews from patient surveys, but also with statistics-based objective data from about 250,000 hospitals and medical care facilities across the US.

Through this partnership, Yelp is looking at providing more extensive information to consumers including emergency room waiting times, quality of services in dialysis centers and efficacy of nursing homes.

ProPublica is a well-acclaimed non-profit newsroom that centers on investigative journalism for the common public interest. The said New York-based organization had been awarded with a Pulitzer prize.

The role of ProPublica as Yelp's partner is to collect data from its own research endeavors and combine them with information available at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The said information from the CMS involves details about 4,600 hospitals, 15,000 nursing homes and 6,300 dialysis centers all across the country, which are updated every quarter.

With this, consumers can now view the fines accumulated in a nursing home, the deficiencies of clinics and overall services from hospitals. Hovering text on particular areas will allow people to see the statistics, as well as its corresponding explanations. Sample information given at the official Yelp blog include West Kendall Baptist Hospital to have an average of 33 minutes waiting time at their emergency room, lack of deficiencies by the Beachside Nursing Center and better than average survival rates exhibited by San Mateo Dialysis Center.

Yelp is currently being used to see different consumer reviews for a variety of establishments from restaurants to retail stores. Now, with its new feature, essential information during one's critical event in life would also be made available with the touch of the fingertips. Patients will also be empowered to choose which facility could provide the best care for their specific needs such as child and aged care.

"Many people think of the Yelp platform for finding great restaurants and hotels, and it certainly is," says Luther Lowe, Yelp's vice president for policy. Now, Yelp is giving public access to elusive information that probably stack up in governmental offices and bringing it through a platform that may be used in more practical applications.

Health businesses are also being reviewed by the public but only comprise six percent of reviewed businesses. With the new feature of Yelp, executives are hoping to see a rise in this percentage.

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