Urgent care centers deliver a higher level of service than emergency rooms, though some patients perceive that the ED offers a higher level of care, according to a report from researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. The data reflect analysis of five-star and one-star Yelp reviews (the highest and lowest scores, respectively) for urgent care centers and EDs. Patients giving five stars after a visit to the ED valued good bedside manner and treatment of family members, along with access to care on nights and weekends. Urgent care centers that got a five-star rating were appreciated for ease of refilling prescriptions and being positively recommended by others. Low ratings were dished out if patients found the speed of care in the ED to be too slow. Of note to urgent care operators and manager, a poor reception experience was likely to result in a one-star rating, as was a lack of confidence in the care a patient received. The results show a significant phenomenon. The study’s lead author, Anish Agarwal, MD acknowledges that the internet is often the first resource consulted when a patient is looking for the best option for care; reviews like those found on Yelp are often used to inform their decisions. The Penn researchers drew their data from more than 100,000 Yelp reviews posted between 2005 and 2017. They reflect 1,566 visits to the ED and 5,601 urgent care experiences. FYI: The JUCM archives include an article on leveraging social media to draw in new patients. You can read Use Digital Marketing and Social Media to Attract and Engage New Urgent Care Patients here.

The ED and Urgent Care World According to Yelp
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