Consumers need to know about, be interested in, have access to and understand public data on hospital quality and value. Consumers acting on such information to guide their healthcare decisions would help to achieve the healthcare system's triple aim of a higher care quality, enhanced service experience, and lower costs. This study will build the evidence base for content, design and dissemination of public data using new media and social networks. The immediate short-term objectives are (i) to use cutting-edge social media monitoring technologies and deliberative sessions to harvest information on how consumers represented in Los Angeles AHRQ priority populations know about, get access to, and share information on hospital maternity care quality, as well as (ii) use social media channels and innovative active engagement technologies to activate their interest, drive awareness of and access to hospital maternity care information such as cesarean section rates. In this two year project budgeted at $699,000 we will (a) understand socially connected consumer health data search and discussion. Using advanced USC information science software as well as leading social media monitoring tools, we will reconstruct he key geographic and psychosocial determinants of consumer healthcare information search and discussion using active listening in English and Spanish to the social media universe and online social networks. We will also (b) create a replicable social media playbook to actively engage consumers with public data through a physician-vetted engagement playbook designed to interactively engage in social media conversations and activate interest in public reports, driving access to a test website to track click-throughs to not-for-profit, state and for-profit sources of public reports. Finally we will (c) activate consumer interest in and drive traffic through to existing public reports. Among identified priority populations in a mixture of hot and cold spots in Los Angeles, live field tests of the impact of this active listening/active engagement will be conducted on 10,000 individual online users using an investigator-driven, labor-intensive strategy and evaluated using tracking website and social media active listening awareness metrics. Our team has strong and relevant clinical experience in community medicine, in social network and social media analysis (e.g. in major Dept of Defense contracts), in sociology, behavioral economics and clinical psychology, and has extensive research and grant experience ensuring the production of actionable study findings that will help to improve population health through improved awareness, interest and access to public reports of hospital quality data.

Public Health Relevance

Prior public reporting dissemination efforts have not reflected the social generation and consumption of healthcare information. Using state of the art social media monitoring and active engagement technologies combined with a detailed ethnographic study of priority populations in Los Angeles, we propose an innovative study and test of new media approaches to driving awareness, interest and access to public reports with the overall objective of influencing consumer behavior towards evidence- based maternity care and away from unnecessary cesarean sections.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)
Exploratory/Developmental Grants (R21)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZHS1-HSR-W (01))
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Sandmeyer, Brent
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University of Southern California
Other Domestic Higher Education
Los Angeles
United States
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Huesch, Marco D; Currid-Halkett, Elizabeth; Doctor, Jason N (2014) Measurement and risk adjustment of prelabor cesarean rates in a large sample of California hospitals. Am J Obstet Gynecol 210:443.e1-17
Huesch, Marco D; Doctor, Jason N (2013) Cesarean delivery on maternal request. JAMA 310:978