Explain How Health Care Quality Information Can Be Used

Report sponsors can’t assume that people will know how to use the information in a report card. You have to tell them.

Although helping people make a decision is often viewed as the primary reason for sharing comparative quality information, there are other important uses. Understanding comparative quality information is also important for potential users who are not currently facing a decision, who do not perceive that they have choices, or for whom the idea of being proactive about choices is new and perhaps uncomfortable.

People can use comparative quality information for:

  • Making their own decisions about health plans and providers.
  • Helping someone else make such a decision.
  • Understanding what is at stake, and therefore what should be considered, in making a decision.
  • Starting a conversation with a trusted provider about a quality report.
  • Confirming a decision already made.
  • Identifying things to watch out for when using health care services.
  • Understanding one’s own care better.
  • Setting expectations for what is good care.

Provide a list of the ways you hope your audience will use quality information. To make this list more concrete, provide specific examples or share stories of how others have used the information in a particular way and how they benefited from it.

Page last reviewed February 2016
Page originally created February 2015
Internet Citation: Explain How Health Care Quality Information Can Be Used. Content last reviewed February 2016. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. https://www.ahrq.gov/talkingquality/explain/support/explain-use.html
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