Introduce the Contents of a Health Care Quality Report

Both the title and the first page of your report need to make it clear to readers what they’ll find inside.

The Report's Title

When you create a title for your report, consider how you can incorporate key points of information. For example, a title can be explicit about:

  • The kind of health care the report addresses.
  • (Where appropriate) The community, state, or other geographic region covered.

Obviously you can’t get everything into the title, but it is possible to combine a few key points into a concise and punchy phrase. Also, if the report will be on the Web, create a site address (URL) that incorporates the title. The California HealthCare Foundation’s CalQualityCare Web site is an example of this approach.

The Report's First or Home Page

The first page of your report—typically the home page on a Web-based report—can elaborate on the subject of your report and the type of information you are providing. You may also be able to include other information users need to know, including:

  • Who should use/who can benefit from the report.
  • Who sponsors the report.
  • The purpose of the report.
  • What else the report contains.

The Type of Organization

The first page should say what kind of health care organization is the subject of your report. In some cases (such as Hospital Compare), the subject of your report is evident from the title, but you can still comment on the subject. It’s also important to set appropriate expectations by providing any parameters. For example, your hospital report might include, or exclude, certain facilities, such as specialty hospitals or children’s hospitals.

The Type of Information

Just as important, and more difficult, is to let people know what kind of information is in the report. Specify whether the report focuses on one condition or several, on a narrow set of measures or a broad one.

  • Make the list of measure types short (hopefully no more than five items), easy to understand, and in plain English.
  • Base the categories on how your audience thinks about quality, not on how you do. One good approach to organizing your data and generating a list of topics is to use a simplified framework for quality.

Also in "Communicating Key Information Upfront"

Page last reviewed November 2018
Page originally created February 2015
Internet Citation: Introduce the Contents of a Health Care Quality Report. Content last reviewed November 2018. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. https://www.ahrq.gov/talkingquality/explain/communicate/introduce.html
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