Organizing Measures by Disease or Condition

Research indicates that consumers are more interested in measures that are clearly related to a disease or condition that they have, or that a loved one has.[1] A large number of measures are disease-specific. If most or all of the measures you are considering are disease-specific, then you should consider this approach.

Advantages of Categorizing by Disease or Condition

Disadvantages of Categorizing by Disease or Condition

EXAMPLE: Comparing Doctors' Office by Area of Care

Title: Compare Your Care
Sponsor: Oregon Health Care Quality Corp.
The Oregon Health Care Quality Corp Compare Your Care site allows user to compare doctor’s offices in the following areas of care: women’s health, children’s health, diabetes care, heart disease care, low back pain care, using antibiotics, asthma care and using generic drugs.

Set of 8 blue boxes arranged in 2 rows. In the first row the boxes are labeled: Women's Health, Children's Health, Diabetes Care, and Asthma Care. In the second row they are labeled: Heart Disease Care, Lower Back Pain Care, Using Antibiotics, and Using Generic Drugs.


Sample of a health care quality chart for women's health for 6 different clinics in the areas of mammograms, the Pap smear test, and chlamydia test. Scores used are either Better or Too few patients to screen reliably.

Source: Oregon Health Care Quality Corp. Compare Your Care. Available at:

Some sponsors structure their reporting program so that they can issue a series of reports, each with a focus on a specific disease or condition. The State of Utah, which has taken this approach, offers many reports of this kind.

EXAMPLE: Reports Focusing on a Specific Procedure or Condition

Title: Utah Hospital Comparison Reports
Sponsor: Utah Department of Health; Utah Health Data Committee
The Utah Hospital Comparison Reports focus on specific procedures and conditions and provide cost and performance data for gall bladder removal, hip and knee care, heart and stroke care, adult pneumonia care, and maternity and newborn care.

Screen shot from the Utah MyHealthCare web site with a list of links to available hospital comparison reports.

Source: Utah Department of Health; Utah Health Data Committee. Utah Hospital Comparison Reports. Available at:

[1] Hibbard JH, Sofaer S, Jewett JJ. Condition-specific performance information: assessing salience, comprehension, and approaches for communicating quality. Health Care Financ Rev. 1996 Fall;18(1):95-109.

Also in "Organizing Measures To Reduce Information Overload"

Page last reviewed March 2016
Page originally created February 2015
Internet Citation: Organizing Measures by Disease or Condition. Content last reviewed March 2016. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.