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Am J Med Qual. 2009 Sep-Oct;24(5):412-8. doi: 10.1177/1062860609335971. Epub 2009 Jun 12.

A qualitative study of consumers' views on public reporting of health care-associated infections.

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Meyers Primary Care Institute, Worcester, MA 01605, USA.


Recent interest in publicly reporting health care-associated infections (HAIs) makes it important to develop reports that consumers can understand and evaluate. In-depth qualitative interviews were conducted with 59 consumers. Interviews focused on responses to existing and prototypical reports and on recommendations for improvements. Many interviewees were unfamiliar with HAIs and were distressed to learn HAIs occur and can result in death. Public reporting was seen as unlikely to affect hospital choice; other factors were considered more influential. Interviewees recommended that reports be brief and include information on prevention as well as performance data. Additional recommendations on format and content were identified. For public reporting of HAIs to be successful, attention to report content and format are necessary. Consumer involvement can help to identify potential sources of confusion and methods of improving reporting.

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