Model Public Report Elements: A Sampler

D. Place for Consumer Input on Web Site Design

1. Place for consumers to ask questions or share suggestions

Most consumers are just beginning to use the Web to find information about provider performance. Therefore, they may not know how to access or interpret the data. Collaboratives could give Web site users an opportunity to provide feedback, ask questions, or ask for help.

A simple feedback form from a New York-based site is shown below.  Only the comments field is required, so anonymous feedback can be submitted.

Tool: New York State Hospital Profile

Sponsor:  New York State Department of Health


Screenshot of New State Department of Health feedback form. An arrow points to the text indicating that name E-mail address are optional.

For this site, an E-mail address is required, along with a security step, but not a name, to provide comments and suggestions. Users are directed to address technical issues to a separate E-mail address.

Tool: Illinois Hospital Report Card

Sponsor: Illinois Department of Public Health


Screenshot of Illinois Hospital Report Card Web site welcome screen. An arrow points to a link to a comment form.

Selecting "your comments and suggestions" above leads the user to the following window:

Screenshot of Illinois Department of Public Health Contact Us page with comment form.

The following Web site offers users a high level of accessibility to directors, managers, and staff.

Tool: PHC4

Sponsor:  Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council


Screenshot of PHC4 contact us page with address, phone, and fax for Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council, a comment form, and E-mail addresses for the executive director, directors, managers, and other staff.

2. Consumer survey to provide information on how data were used

Little is known about who uses public reporting Web sites and how they use the data. Some collaboratives have added surveys to their sites to learn more about who their customers are and what their needs are.

Some surveys are relatively short and simple. The following survey feature allows users who did not find what they were looking for or did not understand the data or information presented to provide open-ended feedback. The advantage of this approach is that users may provide feedback about unanticipated or unrecognized issues. On the other hand, it may be difficult to summarize and draw conclusions from this type of feedback.

Tool: Colorado Hospital Report Card

Sponsor: Colorado Hospital Association


Screenshot of Colorado Hospital Report Card survey that asks users if they found what they were looking for, understood the data, and could view the definitions of the measures. Text boxes are provided for responses to open-ended questions about what information users wanted if they did not find what they were looking for, what they did not understand, and what suggestions they have for improving the site. There is also a question about how the user learned about the Hospital Report Card Web site.

Other surveys are more specific about the response options allowed and attempt to categorize possible answers, providing fewer opportunities for open-ended user input. This survey adds the incentive of eligibility for a gift certificate.

Tool: VHI Cardiac Care

Sponsor:  Virginia Health Information


Screenshot of Virginia Health Information Cardiac Care Survey Web page with a note that 1 in 100 people completing a survey will win a $50 gift certificate. The survey contains seven questions, of which five are shown. The survey asks if the information is helpful, if the user found that the information increased knowledge, was a handy reference, reduced concerns, and helped in choosing a hospital. The survey also asks users to identify other information the site should provide and to select a description of themselves from a list of categories, such as consumer, health care provider, and physician. It also asks how the user learned about the Web site.

Although much of the content of this survey is similar to the one above, this site draws attention to its survey with a prominent icon on the home page and adds questions on the site's ease of use.

Tool: Maryland Hospital Performance Evaluation Guide

Sponsor:  Maryland Health Care Commission


Maryland Hospital Performance Evaluation Guide Web site survey page, We Want to Hear From You! Questions ask about areas such as navigation, use of understandable language, and usefulness of information.

Current as of November 2011
Internet Citation: Model Public Report Elements: A Sampler. November 2011. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.