Using quality report cards for reshaping dentist practice patterns: a pre-play communication approach

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Abstract

Rationale, aims and objectives

Understanding how information disclosure influences dentists' patterns of practice change is important in developing quality-improvement policies and cost containment. Thus, using quality report cards is a promising strategy for investigating whether dentists will reshape their patterns of practice because of the influence of peer comparison.

Methods

Based on the coordination game, a data warehouse decision support system (DWDSS) was used as a pre-play communication instrument, along with the disclosure of quality report cards, which allow dentists to search their own service rates of dental restoration and restoration replacement as well as compare those results with others.

Results and conclusions

The group using the DWDSS had a greater decrease in two indicators (i.e. service rates of dental restoration and restoration replacement) than the dentists who did not use it, which implies that the DWDSS is a useful facility for helping dentists filter and evaluate information for establishing the maximum utility in their practice management. The disclosure of information makes significant contributions to solving managerial problems associated with dentists' deviation of practice patterns.

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