Model Public Report Elements: A Sampler

D. Web Page Layout

The design of your Web site's appearance matters. Many report sponsors err on the side of inclusion and the result, unfortunately, can be a visual overload for consumers. To enhance understanding, interest, and visual appeal, the Web site layout should have adequate white space, that is, not too much clutter of text or pictures. A streamlined layout helps to efficiently direct the user's attention to what is important on the page.  In addition, the search function should be quick and easy to locate from the landing page. Below are several examples with specific advantages.

The following search page is readily accessible from the landing page.  It has plenty of white space, a minimum of text, and a clear sequence of steps leading to an easy-to-find "View Quality Scores" box.

Tool:  Partner for Quality Care

Sponsor:  Oregon Health Care Quality Corp


Screenshot of Partner for Quality Care Web site with three choices at the top: tips, quality scores, and about this work. It also has three steps: choose a region, which has a map and selection boxes under it; step 2, choose a topic, which lists four health areas; and step 3, choose doctors' offices or medical groups. A large red box says View Quality Scores.

The same site maintains a balanced look on its data pages, keeping space between information points. Also, the large, clearly labeled tabs at the top, the same as those on the search page, allow quick navigation to other pages of interest.

Tool:  Partner for Quality Care

Sponsor:  Oregon Health Care Quality Corp


Screenshot of Partner for Quality Care data page for diabetes care, showing ratings of several medical groups in four areas of care: eye exam, blood sugar test, cholesterol test, and kidney disease test. Ratings are better, represented by a yellow circle, average, represented by a gray square, and below average, represented by a blue triangle.

The site below is an example of providing ease in starting a search and creating a customized report by combining multiple items on a single page.

Tool:  VHI Cardiac Care: Compare Hospitals

Sponsor:  Virginia Health Information


Screenshot for Virginia Health Information Cardiac Care: Compare Hospitals Web page. Step 1 is to choose service lines, step 2 is to choose regions, step 3 is to choose hospitals, and step 4 is to choose a year. Step 5 is Make My Report, which the user does by selecting the Make My Report button.

The icons used on the page below quickly transmit important information about services available, while the overall layout is simple and easy to understand.

Tool: New York State Hospital Profile

Sponsor: New York State Department of Health


New York State Department of Health Web page with overview of Elmhurst Hospital Center. The page has tabs for Overview, Quality, Surveillance, Procedures, Services, and Beds. The overview page has contact information for the hospital, as well as icons showing its State designations. The icons for this hospital indicate AIDS Center, shown by a ribbon on a red background; Level 3 Perinatal Center, shown by a drawing of a baby; Regional Trauma Center, shown by a white cross on an orange background; Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner Center, shown by a drawing of two hands; and Stroke Center, shown by a drawing of a head in profile with an EEG line reading.

The page below is easy to read and uses a presentation that draws the eyes to the ratings.

Tool: Get Better Maine

Sponsor: Maine Health Management Coalition


Screenshot of Maine Health Management Coalition page for coronary artery bypass graft. Hospitals are sorted by highest rated. Overall rating is indicated by a circle shaded in one-fourth, one-half, three-fourths, or full. All hospitals shown have full circles. Procedure count is shown with a large white number on a dark background and is listed from highest to lowest. Outcomes compared to nation are designated as better than national average or best quartile for these hospitals. Follows clinical guidelines is designated as higher for all hospitals shown.

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  1. Institute of Medicine. Crossing the quality chasm: a new health system for the 21st century. Washington, DC: National Academies Press; 2001.
  2. Anderson G, Brown A. Appropriateness ratings: overuse, underuse, or misuse? Lancet 2001 Nov 3;358(9292):1475-6.
  3. Donabedian A. Evaluating the quality of medical care. Milbank Mem Fund Q 1966 Jul;44(3):Suppl:166-206.
Current as of November 2011
Internet Citation: Model Public Report Elements: A Sampler. November 2011. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.