Developing an Outcomes Report Card for Hospitals: A Case Study and Implementation Guidelines : Journal of Healthcare Management

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Developing an Outcomes Report Card for Hospitals: A Case Study and Implementation Guidelines

Slovensky, Donna J. Ph.D.; Fottler, Myron D. Ph.D.; Houser, Howard W. Ph.D.

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Journal of Healthcare Management 43(1):p 15-35, January 1998.



Except for a few state mandates and dominant business coalitions in selected markets, the provider report card initiative is a voluntary response to a perceived public desire for performance data on healthcare providers. This study uses a detailed investigation of a single “typical” case to collect information about one hospital's decision processes and the operational activities required to develop a report card for communicating clinical outcomes and financial indicators to its external stakeholders. Three research questions are addressed: How did the organization identify who its key stakeholders for outcomes information were? How were the stakeholders' outcomes information needs determined? What were the stakeholders' information needs and preferred reporting formats?

The research findings are reported as a case study. A general model for developing and implementing a report card for public dissemination is proposed. Crucial steps include:

  • Hospital leaders should define the intent of the report card and identify key performance domains.
  • Stakeholders' needs, desires, and intended use of the information should be explored when determining the format of the report card.
  • External validation of the information presented should be obtained.
  • The report should be made available through several mediums including direct mailing, print media, and the Internet.
  • Usefulness of the information included in the report card should be continually evaluated.

The outcomes report card can be useful to organizations and their stakeholders in many ways. They provide information about clinical outcomes, cost-effectiveness, and organizational performance in an era when healthcare organizations are competing for marketshare and consumers are demanding to be informed about their healthcare providers.

© 1998 Foundation of the American College of Healthcare Executives

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