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Research

Does public release of performance results improve quality of care?

A systematic review

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Published: September 2008
Author(s):

Paul G Shekelle, Yee-Wei Lim, Soeren Mattke, Cheryl Damberg

ISBN: 978-1-906461-06-5

The latest QQUIP report summarises the evidence related to public reporting and its effect on quality improvement.

Background

It is now acknowledged that the NHS should be reporting on outcomes. What remains less well understood is just what should be measured, how performance should be reported and what effect it may have. In the context of the NHS Next Stage Review, with its emphasis on quality measurement and increased reporting on outcomes, there is a need to review the best evidence about the impact of public reporting on improving performance in healthcare. 

About this report

This report from the Health Foundation reviews the international evidence on this issue. It tests current theory that the public release of performance data can increase the accountably of healthcare providers and motivate organisational quality improvement activities. The report tackles this by looking at the impact of reporting on selection and change. It explores whether public release prompts improvements in effectiveness, patient safety and patient centredness. 

The report offers robust evidence in an active area of policy. Despite major improvements in healthcare, quality gaps persist. The report backs the current direction of policy by showing that transparent systematic, data-driven performance measurement and feedback have a key role in quality improvement. The study offers suggestions for implementation, finding that public release of outcome data can stimulate change at the level of the hospital. However, it has little effect on consumer selection of provider.

About QQUIP

QQUIP (Quest for Quality and Improved Performance) is a research initiative of the Health Foundation. It provides a source of independent commentary and data about the quality and performance of healthcare. QQUIP provides coherent and accessible information on where healthcare resources are currently being spent, whether they provide value for money and how interventions have been used to improve healthcare quality.

Who should read this report?

This report is intended for healthcare decision makers, including policy makers, managers, clinical leaders, researchers and patient groups. They should use this independent source of data to inform decisions and take actions that will lead to better quality of patient care. 

Stephen Thornton's response to an article about this report by Tom Ireland in GP on 7 November 2008





 
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