Public Reports on Provider Performance for Consumers

Public reports refer to any effort to compare providers within a specified geographic region—for which all providers are eligible to be included—on a routine basis according to certain standards of quality performance. Also called consumer reports, performance reports, provider profiles, quality assessment reports, score cards, citizen report cards, and league tables, public reports represent one of a number of approaches that might have a place in a country or community's overarching quality strategy. [Citation: Provider-specific Report Cards: A Tool for Health Sector Accountability in Developing Countries. Health Policy and Planning. P. McNamara. (March 2006).]

AHRQ Resources

AHRQ-Sponsored Journal Issue on Public Reporting

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality sponsored an issue of Health Affairs that addressed public reporting.

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AHRQ Chartered Value Exchanges (CVE): Public Reporting Web Sites

This page has links to public reporting Web sites sponsored by Chartered Value Exchanges or stakeholders affiliated with a CVE.

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AHRQ's Public Report Surveys

AHRQ's Public Report Surveys are designed to provide developers of Web-based public reports with information on how well their reports are meeting consumers' needs, and thereby inform redesign considerations.

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Building the Science of Public Reporting

AHRQ is supporting 17 research grants to grow the evidence base behind the content, design, dissemination, and underlying data and methodology of public reports.

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Users of Public Reports of Hospital Quality: Who, What, Why, and How?

An aggregate analysis of 16 online public reporting Web sites and users' and experts' suggestions for improvement. The 16 sites implemented AHRQ's Hospital-Public Report Survey available at

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Promoting Your Public Report: A Hands-on Guide

Toolkit designed to help communities increase awareness and use of their public reports by consumers and other audiences, includes suggested approaches and template materials.

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Methodological Considerations in Generating Provider Performance Scores for Use in Public Reporting: A Guide for Community Quality Collaboratives

A white paper intended for use by CVEs, community collaboratives, and other organizations interested in creating public reports on the performance of health care providers in their communities.

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Model Public Report Elements: A Sampler

An illustrative menu of public report elements from health care provider performance reports from around the country.

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A comprehensive resource and guide for organizations that produce and disseminate reports to consumers on the quality of care provided by health care organizations (e.g., hospitals, health plans, medical groups, nursing homes) and individual physicians.

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Health Care Report Card Compendium

Searchable directory of more than 200 sample report cards that show formats and approaches for providing comparative information on the quality of health plans, hospitals, medical groups, individual physicians, nursing homes, and other care providers.

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Best Practices in Public Reporting

A series of guides that provide practical approaches to designing public reports that make health care performance information clear, meaningful, and usable by consumers.

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  1. How To Effectively Present Health Care Performance Data To Consumers
  2. Maximizing Consumer Understanding of Public Comparative Quality Reports: Effective Use of Explanatory Information
  3. How to Maximize Public Awareness and Use of Comparative Quality Reports Through Effective Promotion and Dissemination Strategies

MONAHRQ (My Own Network Powered by AHRQ)

A free software tool that enables organizations such as State and local data organizations, Chartered Value Exchanges, hospital systems, and health plans to input their own hospital administrative data and generate a data-driven Web site.

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AHRQ State Snapshots

State-specific health care quality information, including strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for improvement. The goal is to help State officials and their public- and private-sector partners better understand health care quality and disparities in their State.

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How Four Purchasers Designed and Implemented Quality-Based Purchasing Activities: Lessons From the Field

By Meredith B. Rosenthal and Joe Camillus. [Report commissioned by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.] Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; 2007. AHRQ Pub. No. 07-RG008.

Report summarizing the results of a group of studies undertaken to examine the breadth of purchaser efforts to improve quality of care in their respective communities. The studies assessed public report cards sponsored by the Ohio Department of Aging and the Colorado Business Group on Health.

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Provider-specific Report Cards: A Tool for Health Sector Accountability in Developing Countries

McNamara P. Health Policy Plan 2006;21(2):101-9.

Review discussing universal design options for report cards, evidence base, developing country examples, challenges, and implementation steps.

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Public Reporting as a Quality Improvement Strategy

By Totten AM, Wagner J, Tiwari A, et al. Evidence Report No. 208. [Report prepared by the Oregon Evidence-based Practice Center under Contract No. 290-2007-10057-I.]

Part of the Closing the Quality Gap: Revisiting the State of the Science series, this report evaluates the effectiveness of public reporting of health care quality information as a quality improvement strategy.

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Selecting Quality and Resource Use Measures: A Decision Guide for Community Quality Collaboratives

Tool to help community-based organizations striving to improve the quality of health care in their communities select quality of care and resource use measures.

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Current as of August 2012
Internet Citation: Public Reports on Provider Performance for Consumers. August 2012. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.