What Are the Objectives for Your Health Care Quality Report?

While all reporting projects aim to inform consumers about health care quality, each project may also have additional goals. Sponsors of quality measurement projects need to be clear about what exactly you are trying to accomplish with a report card and how you will assess progress.

Why Objectives Are Important

Objectives Become What You Evaluate

The link between your project’s objectives and its future evaluation has three immediate implications for the planning process:

  • Be realistic about what you can accomplish in the given timeframe.
  • Focus on goals that are measurable.
  • Think ahead about what you’ll need to do to assess your progress appropriately. For instance, you may want to collect baseline data at the start so that you’ll have a point of comparison when you talk to consumers after they receive your information.

Learn more about planning an evaluating strategy.

Common Purpose Statements

There are a number of different reasons why organizations decide to produce quality report cards for consumers. Here are some common objectives that report sponsors cite :[1]

  • Consumer choice: Support and motivate consumers to
    • Make more informed decisions among competing plans or providers.
    • Make better health care choices.
    • Compare and select the best plan or provider for their needs.
    • Shop for plans or providers.
  • Education:
    • Help consumers understand and navigate a complex health system.
    • Provide consumers with information they have a “right to know.”
    • Help consumers ask more focused questions about care received.
    • Inform consumers about care that leads to the best outcomes.
    • Empower consumers to better participate in their own care.
    • Build awareness about specific quality issues, such as variations in the care.
  • Improvement:
    • Spur action—particularly quality improvement activities—on the part of health care organizations.

For More Information

To learn more about selecting reasonable and measurable goals, go to Assess Your Reporting Project.

1Adapted from Shearer A, Cronin C. The State-of-the-Art of Online Hospital Public Reporting: A Review of Fifty-One Websites. Easton, MD: Delmarva Foundation, July 2005.

Page last reviewed November 2018
Page originally created February 2015
Internet Citation: What Are the Objectives for Your Health Care Quality Report?. Content last reviewed November 2018. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. https://www.ahrq.gov/talkingquality/plan/objectives.html
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