Incorporate Decision Aids Into a Healthcare Quality Report

One way to reduce the burden of decision making for users is to provide some kind of decision aid, such as: a list of steps, a worksheet, or a checklist.

An alternative strategy is to provide intermediaries to help consumers use quality information.

Steps in the Decision making Process

Many consumers do not have a clear idea of how to make a decision related to healthcare. In focus groups, respondents have explicitly asked for a step-by-step guide to the decision making process. Your report can suggest a list of steps, which do not have to be in sequential order.

A Worksheet or Checklist

To help people make a decision, you can provide them with:

  • A list of things they should consider in making a decision.
  • Checklists of questions to ask, or features to observe, when visiting a provider or facility.

If possible, make these aids available on the same page as the information they support.

Decision making worksheets may be too complex for some audiences, but they are useful to include if consumers may get help from family members, friends, or information intermediaries in making their decision.

Tips for Producing Useful Worksheets

  • Consistent language. To minimize confusion, make the language in the worksheet consistent with other language you have used in the report. If you "import" someone else's worksheet, be sure to revise it to fit in with your report.
  • Space. Include sufficient space for people to insert information from your report as well as information from other sources.

EXAMPLE: A Checklist To Support Decision making

Sponsor: California HealthCare Foundation; University of California San Francisco

The Web site offers a checklist that consists of a list of questions that a person can either ask when looking for nursing homes or use to evaluate nursing facilities and then compare facilities with one another.

Source: California HealthCare Foundation. Available at

Page last reviewed June 2019
Page originally created February 2015
Internet Citation: Incorporate Decision Aids Into a Healthcare Quality Report. Content last reviewed June 2019. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.
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