This brief provides lessons from communities involved in Aligning Forces for Quality, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s signature effort to lift the quality of care in America. Public reporting is a cornerstone of the Aligning Forces program. This brief focuses on bringing together the many pieces of information that go into public reports of quality performance data.

Improving quality and reducing costs of health care in order to benefit those who get, give and pay for care requires publicly reporting what is happening inside our health care system. Patients need information about the quality of care doctors and hospitals provide so they can talk with their doctors and make informed choices about their care. Doctors and hospitals need information about their own performance to identify areas for improvement. Consumers and purchasers need information about the quality of care they pay for and receive to determine the value of the care they are getting.

“Whatever you choose to report, you have to have leaders and consensus around it. To have true buy-in to public reporting, you really do need multi-stakeholder support because if you get just one group, the others are skeptical of it and don’t think it’s effective.” - Christine Amy, South Central Pennsylvania Alliance