Talking Quality and Designing Report Cards

What are the best practices for displaying cost and quality data for consumers? To learn about health care costs in order to make informed choices, consumers need adequate, easy-to-understand information on cost and quality. The Alliances had the opportunity to educate and engage consumers in making high-quality, affordable choices by providing quality and cost information in a meaningful, compelling way. Alliances have been developing displays that allow consumers to compare the costs of care or the efficiency (or resource use) of providers. In addition to moving toward a more transparent health care system that enables consumer choice, public reporting web sites help local providers identify areas for quality improvement and guide purchasers and employers to make value-based purchasing decisions. The efforts of the Alliance communities have produced invaluable insights into the process of establishing public quality and cost reports.



AF4Q Alliances produced reports for consumers with comparative information on the variations in the costs of care and in “resource use”—the extent to which providers deliver the appropriate kind and amount of care. This brief outlines the best practices for presenting this information to consumers.

This report presents guidelines for public reporting of cost and quality information in an effective, relevant, and consumer-friendly manner that promotes high-quality, affordable choices.

This decision guide will help users make key decisions in developing a patient experience survey.

During 2010 and 2011, eight Alliance tested new or existing public reporting websites with potential users to understand better how to engage their target audiences in quality information.  This brief summarizes the findings.

This guide sets out approaches you can adopt to make your displays of quality information more useful to health care consumers and, thus, more relevant and likely to be used. Simply reporting comparative information on quality is not hard, but doing it well can be a challenge.