The effect of public reporting presentation on patients’ decision making: An experimental survey in Yunan Province, China

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Abstract

Public reporting of comparative performance information (PRCPI) influence patients’ decision making and optimal presentation of PRCPI is urgently required for successful patients’ engagement and quality improvement. This study was to explore the presentation of PRCPI impacting on consumers’ decision making.

This research applied a controlled design, with participants allocated randomly to 6 groups, and a total of 515 participants were recruited in Yunnan province. Five aspects of PRCPI presentations were evaluated, including display (star rating vs numeric information), and whether information was simplified, interpreted, overload, or ranked. Participants were stimulated to identify the best or worst physicians with a hypothetical scenario. Main outcome measures were correct choices rate of best/worst physicians, indicating participants fully understood and correctly used PRCPI. χ2 test and logistic regression were applied to assess the effect between different presentations on consumers’ decision making.

The correct choices rate is only 48.93%. Compared with star rating, numerical information helped participants differentiate low-performance physicians (OR = 2.573, P = .029), including low-performance physicians in antibiotics (OR = 2.974, P = .031) and low-performance physicians in injections (OR = 2.369, P = .035). Disordered information impeded participants to fully understand and correctly use PRCPI (OR = 0.519, P = .041). The effect was mainly reflected on participants differentiating low-performance physicians (OR = 0.491, P = .039) and low-performance physicians in injections (OR = 0.440, P = .016). Other aspects of PRCPI showed nonsignificant impacts on consumers’ decision making.

Presentation, including information display and ranking, can influence patients’ correct usage of PRCPI and the effect was mainly observed when the patients were identifying poorly performing physicians. The present study demonstrated that numerical and ranked PRCPI, combined with sufficient patient education, could be most effective to facilitate patient use.

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