Unclear on how hospital data affects decisions

While public policy is very much in favor of providing detailed data on hospital performance and quality, there's little evidence to suggest that this data actually affects patient decisions, according to a new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. While many states have established public reporting systems which require hospitals to disclose data such as infection rates or mortality levels, there's not much in the academic literature to back up claims that it affects consumer decision-making. What's more, what literature does exist suggests that consumers find report cards to be confusing rather than helpful. Researchers say that more research is needed on how reporting systems should be designed before public policymakers can have an impact on consumer health decision-making.

To find out more about the study:
- read this Modern Healthcare article (reg. req.)

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