Consumers' understanding of publicly reported patient survival quality data
Bandel, K., Trisolini, M., Salib, P. S., Hammen, J., Frederick, P., & Miranda, D. (2006, November). Consumers' understanding of publicly reported patient survival quality data. Presented at American Public Health Association Annual Conference, .
Publicly reporting provider-specific performance information to healthcare consumers has an important role in promoting health care quality. However, communicating often complex information to consumers such that they can understand and find it useful can be challenging. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the primary payer for renal dialysis services, launched the Dialysis Facility Compare (DFC) website to publicly report dialysis facility-specific quality data to patients and family members. DFC allows users to compare the services and quality of care provided at dialysis facilities, including patient survival data.As part of an ongoing evaluation of DFC, we conducted formative research to evaluate the extent to which patients and family members understood the patient survival quality measure as intended. We conducted 29 individual interviews with dialysis patients and family members in three locations. Participants reviewed the DFC website and provided feedback on the patient survival quality data and mockups of alternative language and data table formats.Overall, participants had positive comments about the patient survival data and found the information to be useful. Participants were able to use the data to compare and choose a dialysis facility. However, participants had difficulty understanding the statistical language used to display the information and could not explain the statistical differences between facility ratings accurately.The alternatives we tested did not improve comprehension. However, findings suggested that participants wanted more information rather than less, statistical language should be minimized, and displays using drilldowns, Likert-scale number ratings, or word icons were not preferred.