Private Performance Feedback Reporting for Physicians
Our literature review, examination of community quality collaborative feedback reports, and indepth case study led us to distill a number of specific recommendations primarily for CVEs and other collaboratives engaged in performance reporting. First, it is critical for report sponsors to engage with the target audience they are attempting to reach, whether public or private, so that they clearly understand their goals and information needs. Sponsors are advised not to skip this step even if they have a general understanding of those goals and needs, since new insights are likely to emerge for all parties through such a discussion.
Once specific goals and needs are established, sponsors can determine which needed information they are in a unique market position to supply. At that point, a reporting strategy can be developed that delivers the needed information accurately and in a timely way, consistent with the guiding principles presented in this resource document:
- Select measures that are perceived as relevant and are actionable.
- Include benchmarks that allow comparison to peers and normative standards.
- Use displays to highlight the most important patterns.
- Provide access to patient-level data.
- Enable physicians to correct patient-level data.
- Use sound methods and make them transparent.
- Update at least quarterly.
- Build in capacity to view performance trends.
- Distribute reports through multiple channels.
- Embed feedback reporting as an integral part of quality improvement.
- Evaluate private feedback reports against reporting goals.
For community collaboratives already engaged in public reporting, moving to private feedback reporting for physicians will generally involve the following:
- Focusing on more granular data.
- Increasing the frequency of reporting.
- Presenting data with lower levels of reliability than public reports, yet with explicit details on levels of confidence.
- Offering the ability to compare subpopulations to test small-scale improvement initiatives.
- Providing greater capability to customize reports.
- Providing methods to help physicians engage in quality improvement.
Finally, as suggested by the Cincinnati example, it may be possible to augment the reporting tool or system itself by developing supportive resources or services that assist report users in applying the information to achieve their goals. Although the specific needs and opportunities for delivering broader services may vary from market to market, collaboratives are likely to find unmet needs in every community. These can form the basis for an expanded business line that can help make the organizations they serve more effective while contributing to the overall sustainability of their own organization.