Does public release of performance results improve quality of care?

A systematic review

September 2008

Paul G Shekelle
Yee-Wei Lim
Soeren Mattke
Cheryl Damberg

Key points

  • Despite major improvements in healthcare, quality gaps persist.
  • Transparent, systematic, data-driven performance measurement and feedback have a key role in quality improvement.
  • Public release of outcome data can stimulate change at the level of the hospital.
  • However, it has little effect on consumer selection of provider.

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.

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