Users of Public Reports of Hospital Quality: Who, What, Why, and How?

The purpose of this report is to help readers understand the current use and experience of public reporting Web sites by consumers and health care professionals. Several different data sources were combined to arrive at the conclusions we present. To assist the reader in interpreting our findings and evaluating our conclusions, in Section 1 of this report, we will review the methods used to collect and analyze the data for this project.

We begin our presentation of results in Section 2, in which we describe who is coming to the Web sites, based on survey data. In Section 3, we present Web analytics data on how those visitors are finding the Web sites. To describe the visitor experience, we provide survey data about respondents' overall ratings of the Web sites (Section 4) and both consumers' (Section 5) and health care professionals' (Section 6) feedback regarding content and usability.

In Section 7, we detail findings from an expert review of Web sites. In Section 8, our recommendations and conclusions from the project are summarized. Detailed data are available in the appendixes, including tables presenting consumer and health care professional characteristics (Appendix A), numerical summaries of all survey responses from consumers (patients and friends and family members) and health care professionals (Appendix B), and a summary of write-in survey responses (Appendix C).

Page last reviewed December 2011
Internet Citation: Introduction: Users of Public Reports of Hospital Quality: Who, What, Why, and How?. December 2011. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.