Empowering New Yorkers with Quality Measures They Value
Many New Yorkers are not aware that quality of care varies among providers; for those who are, searching for information to help them identify and choose high-quality providers for their specific medical needs can be frustrating.
Supported by a grant from the New York State Health Foundation
Measurement sets and public reporting have become integral to health care reform efforts, yet often don’t provide the quality information consumers need to make informed choices about health care providers. Supported by a grant from the New York State Health Foundation, UHF’s Quality Institute is tackling this key problem by examining publicly available quality measures, the quality information consumers and patients value for decision making, the obstacles to finding that information, and the chasm between existing quality measures and what consumers want to know.
Project activities include interviews with experts, a review of the literature on this topic, and cataloging quality measures available on a range of websites. For selected contexts and conditions that drive consumers to seek a health care provider—the need for non-emergency surgery, for example, or a diagnosis of serious illness—we will conduct internet searches to better understand the difficulties consumers face when seeking information to help them assess the quality of care provided by hospitals and physicians. We will also consider options to support patients and consumers—including those with low literacy or numeracy skills or who otherwise need a greater degree of assistance—with clear comparative information they can understand and use.
Over the course of this project we will focus on a number of critical issues:
- What types of quality information do consumers value most? How well do existing quality measures meet the information needs of consumers, patients, and caregivers?
- Which sources of comparative performance information do consumers find trustworthy—or not? How can we expand awareness of reliable sources of information from sources that consumers can and should trust?
- Can clinical performance measures be integrated with other types of information important to consumers, such as physician credentials, malpractice actions, and patient-reported ratings and reviews?
- How might publicly available comparative quality information be used to demonstrate the variation in care quality among providers and help empower New York’s consumers to choose wisely?
- How can trained intermediaries help consumers find and interpret information relevant to their specific needs?
“Empowering New Yorkers with Quality Measures They Value” will be completed in 2017. Products will include a catalog of publicly available quality measures; a strategy for advancing awareness of and broad access to relevant, valid, and reliable information that New Yorkers can use to help make wise health care choices; and a blueprint for bridging the gaps between currently available quality measures and the information that matters to consumers.
Resources for family caregivers and health care providers are available at our Next Step in Care website.