Policymakers Prefer to Read Hard Copies of Health Care Briefs

Identifying the information needs of state health care policy-makers

During 2000 and 2001, T. Baugh & Company, a social marketing firm, and the Georgetown University Institute of Health Care Research and Policy conducted a survey of state health care policy-makers and those who influence policy about their information preferences and needs.

Key Findings

  • The survey results indicated that:

    • State policy-makers find short "briefs or summaries" to be the most useful form of information.
    • The relevance of information to current policy debates is a major factor in what gets read.
    • Some 45 percent reported that they read a health policy report or article at least once a day. Some 89 percent said they want research findings that include the author(s)' implications or recommendations.
    • Some 80 percent of legislators said that they read hard copy reports more frequently than electronic information (e.g., from the Internet) while 41 percent of legislative staff said that they read electronic information more frequently than hard copy.
    • When asked to identify trusted sources of information, 48 percent named a professional association (e.g., the National Conference of State Legislatures).