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NQF Endorses Guidelines for Consumer-Focused Public Reporting
Date:10/28/2008

Guide for internet-based public reporting to help consumers get accurate, dependable information about healthcare quality

WASHINGTON Oct. 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- To support consumer engagement and improved quality in healthcare, the National Quality Forum (NQF) endorsed guidelines for consumer-focused, internet-based public reporting. These guidelines will assist report sponsors to present information about hospital quality in an evidence-based and consumer-friendly format that can be used to make informed decisions about healthcare.

Consumers do not always seek out or use the information available to guide their healthcare choices. For the most part, public reports have been difficult to understand and use, have not adequately communicated what quality of care is, and have not convinced consumers to pay attention to quality.

Evidence suggests that healthcare quality reports and public report cards that contain conflicting information and are poorly constructed may hinder consumers' ability to use the information presented and may lead to decisions inconsistent with their goals. This highlights the need to identify effective public reporting strategies to help change these outcomes.

"These guidelines offer public report design and implementation strategies to increase the value and usefulness of publicly reported information for consumers, and to stimulate industry action toward improvement in quality of care, patient safety and patient-centeredness," said Janet Corrigan, NQF president and CEO. "Consumers can access reliable information about almost everything they buy, but there is very little consumer-focused information available to make informed decisions about healthcare."

"NQF endorsement of these guidelines will help ensure public reporting of performance continues to be an effective strategy to promote improvements in healthcare quality by making reports useful to the general public and credible to health profe
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SOURCE National Quality Forum
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