How EDs match up to urgent care centers in Yelp reviews

A review of more than 100,000 Yelp reviews found emergency departments are viewed as providing higher care quality but lack in ease of service when compared to urgent care centers, a study published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine found.

The study, conducted by researchers in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, looked at high (five-star) and low (one-star) Yelp reviews for EDs and urgent care centers.

The researchers found key themes in the five-star reviews of EDs, including bedside manner, treatment of family members and care access on nights and weekends. Urgent care centers were unique in receiving five-star reviews more frequently for ease of refilling prescriptions and positive recommendations from others.

On the other hand, EDs got negative remarks for care speed while urgent care centers received one-star reviews due to poor reception experiences and patients who lacked confidence in the care they received.

"Today's world is very digital, and it's very common for consumers to rate a restaurant, hotel or service online, a practice that is spilling over into healthcare," said lead study author Anish Agarwal, MD.

"As an emergency department physician, patients often tell me that the internet is the first place they go for information about medical conditions and to research providers," Dr. Agarwal said. Health systems and clinicians can learn a lot about the communities they treat and how people experience the services they provide by looking to online ratings and reviews."

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