Views of Mental Health Care Consumers on Public Reporting of Information on Provider Performance

Published In: Psychiatric Services, v. 60, no. 5, May 2009, p. 689-692

Posted on RAND.org on May 01, 2009

by Bradley D. Stein, Jane N. Kogan, S. Essock-Vitale, Stephanie Fudurich

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OBJECTIVE: This qualitative study examined consumer preferences regarding the content and use of provider performance data and other provider information to aid in consumers' decision making. METHODS: Focus groups were conducted with 41 adults who were consumers of mental health care, and discussions were transcribed and analyzed with standard qualitative research methods. RESULTS: Consumers supported trends toward enhancing information about providers and its availability. Several key themes emerged, including the need for easily accessible information and the most and least useful types of information. CONCLUSIONS: Current efforts to share provider performance information do not meet consumer preferences. Modest changes in the types of information being shared and the manner in which it is shared may substantially enhance use of such information. Such changes may help consumers to be more informed and empowered in making decisions about care, improve the quality of the care delivered, and support the movement toward a more recovery-focused system of care.

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