How Will You Manage a Health Care Quality Reporting Project?

Managing a quality reporting project requires forethought, patience, and creativity. While detailed advice on how to manage this kind of effort is beyond the scope of TalkingQuality, this page offers some basic guidance to help you keep your project on track.

Defining Tasks

Because of the complexity of a reporting project, report sponsors need to think systematically about what needs to be done, who’s going to do what, and when. To help you identify and focus on the important tasks, decisions, and steps, the TalkingQuality site includes a resource called Your Project Checklist. Use it to keep your project on course.

Setting Schedules

Another challenge arises when a project takes so long to produce reportable data that the information is old and therefore potentially less useful to consumers and providers. One way to avoid this situation is to establish and enforce a schedule for the project that ensures the delivery of useful information on a timely basis. Especially for multiyear projects, a schedule provides a tool for keeping the work on track and managing expectations.

For example, the schedule may indicate that medical groups should deliver data to a contractor for analysis by a specific date; if they fail to make that deadline, the sponsors can work with the groups to address the delay or reconsider their request for that information.

Establishing a Management Structure

Quality reporting projects do not happen by themselves. Someone has to build relationships, make and enforce decisions, hire and manage contractors, negotiate terms, and handle all the large and small issues that arise unexpectedly. To that end, the sponsors of the project need to create a management structure that makes it clear who is responsible for what.

This does not mean that it is necessary to hire outside managers or even support staff (although the latter can be especially valuable if many stakeholders are involved). But it does suggest that someone has to take on the report as a major responsibility and partners to the project must agree on a division of responsibilities that reflects their capabilities, expertise, and resources to get the work done.

Advice on Project Management From Experienced Sponsors


[1] Barr JK, Giannotti TE, Sofaer S, et al. Using public reports of patient satisfaction for hospital quality improvement. Health Serv Res 2006 41(3, Part I): 663-82.

Page last reviewed November 2018
Page originally created February 2015
Internet Citation: How Will You Manage a Health Care Quality Reporting Project?. Content last reviewed November 2018. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.
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