Choosing Doctors Wisely

Can Assisted Choice Enhance Patients' Selection of Clinicians?

Published in: Medical Care Research and Review [Epub November 2017]. doi:10.1177/1077558717743822

Posted on RAND.org on January 24, 2018

by Steven C. Martino, Rachel Grob, Sarah Davis, Andrew M. Parker, Melissa L. Finucane, Jennifer L. Cerully, Lise Rybowski, Dale Shaller, Mark Schlesinger

Read More

Access further information on this document at SAGE

This article was published outside of RAND. The full text of the article can be found at the link above.

We conducted a simulated clinician-choice experiment, comparing choices and decision-making processes of participants (N = 688) randomized among four experimental arms: a conventional website reporting only quantitative performance information, a website reporting both qualitative (patient comments) and quantitative information, the second website augmented by a decision aid (labeling of patient comments), and the decision-aided website further augmented by the presence of a trained navigator. Introducing patient comments enhanced engagement with the quality information but led to a decline in decision quality, particularly the consistency of choices with consumers' stated preferences. Labeling comments helped erase the decline in decision quality, although the highest percentage of preference-congruent choices was seen in the navigator arm. Engagement with the quality information and satisfaction with choices available were likewise highest in the navigator arm. Findings held for high- and low-skilled decision makers. Thus, navigator assistance may be a promising strategy for equitably promoting higher quality choices in information-rich contexts.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit www.rand.org/about/principles.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.