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Brookings vs Yelp and E-Patients: They’re All Wrong, but Mostly Brookings

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Can I fool you with the picture above? Apparently, some people think so.

I’m a Twitter newbie, but I’ve already discovered that sometimes you can tweet what you think is a helpful piece of data, then find yourself suddenly caught up in an explosive controversy.  When it’s the Brookings Institute and US News and World Report on one side and passionate e-patients on the other, a research tweep is liable to feel like a nerdy accountant who wandered into the OK Corral at high noon with neither Kevlar nor a gun.

This happened to me when Niam Yaraghi of Brookings posted on the US News blog and the Brookings blog that people shouldn’t trust Yelp reviews in health care—the URL for the post actually ends “online-doctor-ratings-are-garbage”—because patients hadn’t been to medical school.

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