It’s About More Than Food –
December 20, 2019- The popular online review site is best-known for its restaurant ratings. But it’s also become a clearinghouse for people to rate just about anything — including addiction treatments. Absent a standard set of quality ratings for those facilities, Yelp and Google reviews can give researchers a window into how patients feel about their addiction treatment — and what they need from providers.
“Five or 10 years ago, when I thought of Yelp, or Google ratings, I thought of restaurants and maybe stores,” said Anish Agarwal, an assistant professor of emergency medicine at Penn and the lead author of the study. “Turns out, there’s a lot of people talking on these platforms about their health-care experience. This is another way to capture patient voices.” … The study, published in November in Society of General Internal Medicine, looked at Yelp and Google ratings for every drug and alcohol treatment facility in Pennsylvania, and used an automated machine learning program to analyze facilities’ ratings — and the comments that patients left about them.
“We use online reviews for just about everything that we purchase, or places that we go,” said Raina Merchant, an assistant professor of emergency medicine at Penn and a study author. “We thought it would be important to look at those reviews [on addiction treatment facilities] to understand what matters most for patients and their family members.”