The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has published an aggregate analysis of 16 online public reporting Web sites and users’ and experts’ suggestions for improvement. States, community quality collaboratives, and others are investing millions of dollars in the sponsorship and development of public reports on the quality of hospital care. The hope is that these reports will stimulate quality improvement, increase accountability, and improve consumer choices. Although the major method of distributing these reports is through Web sites, it is not known who visits these public reporting Web sites or how Web site visitors use the data presented. This report (Users of Public Reports of Hospital Quality: Who, What, Why, and How?) provides information on who visits these sites and how they use the information, focusing on consumers and health care professionals, the primary target audiences.
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