This goal of this study is to develop and evaluate an innovative intervention to help a defined group of consumers (pregnant women) better understand and make more effective use of public reported hospital quality information.
The specific aims are: (1) to understand pregnant women's knowledge about, awareness of, and motivations for seeking and using maternity care quality information to determine preferences related to pregnancy and childbirth;(2) to develop a novel intervention to engage pregnant women in the use of quality information by developing a website that reports hospital-level maternity care quality measures, supplemented by information and materials that create linkages between maternity care quality measures and issues of inherent interest and concern to pregnant women, a tool to support discussions with health care providers about goals for quality care and quality concerns, and strategies for presenting this quality information in a just in-time manner to meet immediate information needs;(3) to assess the impact of the intervention using a randomized experiment comparing the impact of the novel intervention to a control-the website reporting only quality information- on seven key outcomes of interest: knowledge and awareness of hospital-level quality information, patient activation, self-efficacy and confidence in applying quality information and achieving desired health outcomes, behaviors applying quality information (e.g., talking about it with provider), intentions for futur use of quality information, patient experiences of care, and clinical outcomes;(4) to identify lessons learned that can be applied to other reporting efforts and audiences. We have selected pregnant women as the population of interest because of their strong motivation to seek information, the presence of a condition that requires care over a specified point in time, and their opportunity to make decisions that can significantly affect the quality of care they receive. Our study offers three major innovations that will substantially advance the scientific knowledge about public reporting: (1) It addresses the least-studied challenges to effective public reporting (2) We address relevance and timing by choosing a target population that is highly motivated to obtain and use information about quality;and (3) We will design the intervention to address highly relevant content issues for pregnant women. Our approach increases the evidence base and applicability of lessons learned to other conditions with motivated populations and time to do research informing health care decision-making.

Public Health Relevance

Public reports on health care quality can help motivate and support consumers in choosing high-quality providers and treatment options and enhance the efforts of providers to provide high-quality care. To maximize the use and effectiveness of public reports, consumers need help understanding how to use and apply the information in their health care decision-making. This novel intervention aims to add to the evidence base about how to increase the use of public reports by optimizing their relevance and timing for individuals who have decisions to make about their care and who are motivated to seek information.

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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American Institutes for Research
United States
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Maurer, Maureen; Firminger, Kirsten; Dardess, Pam et al. (2016) Understanding Consumer Perceptions and Awareness of Hospital-Based Maternity Care Quality Measures. Health Serv Res 51 Suppl 2:1188-211