Virginia Nonprofit Group Uses AHRQ Techniques to Develop Web-Based Consumer Guide on Obstetricians
Virginia Health Information (VHI), using communications techniques learned through AHRQ's Chartered Value Exchange Learning Network, developed a Web-based consumer guide to provide information about obstetricians and obstetric hospitals in Virginia. The guide received more than 20,000 online page views during the first eight weeks after publication.
VHI studied key points from AHRQ's Learning Network communications seminars, which helped refine the formatting for easier use by consumers.
Michael T. Lundberg, Executive Director of VHI, says, "Our new, simpler language and format allow people to get right to the data. We make sure they have all the technical information available, too. We followed many of the conceptual recommendations from AHRQ to present the information simply and effectively."
A goal of the new online guide is to educate consumers so that they can use the information to initiate dialogue with their physicians on issues important to them.
Lundberg reports, "Response has been positive, and consumers have asked for more. Suggestions include adding rates of assisted delivery, such as the use of vacuum extraction and forceps, and information on the use of midwives. We've also had positive comments from providers; some physicians have even said they are happy to see this information."
VHI is a nonprofit organization established in 1993 with private and public funding from the State of Virginia. VHI is responsible for Virginia's health care data reporting and has a variety of stakeholders, including businesses, consumers, health plans, hospitals, nursing homes, physicians, and state representatives. The group's mission is "to create and disseminate health care information to promote informed decisionmaking and enhance the quality of health care delivery." It was established by HHS as a chartered value exchange in September 2008.
More information about VHI is available at www.vhi.org. The "Consumer's Guide to Obstetrical Care for Virginia" can be found at http://vhi.org/ob_guide/ob_intro.asp.