Reporting about Health Care Quality: A Guide to the Galaxy

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A review of research on the reporting of health care quality information and related fields in applied social and cognitive science led to identification of seven basic principles that should be followed when planning to report health care quality information to consumers or other audiences: (a) know the audience: who they are, what they care about, and what actions they can take; (b) identify constraints that limit what is feasible; (c) consider barriers and facilitators to achieving objectives; (d) identify specific behaviors to target for change, and prioritize objectives; (e) design a report that specifically incorporates priorities and reflects trade-offs; (f) develop a plan for promotion and dissemination from the beginning; and (g) build in ongoing testing and evaluation to identify successes and areas needing improvement. Case studies provide many examples of unsuccessful reporting efforts thatmight have succeeded had these guiding principles been followed.

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