Helping States Improve Data Reporting Efforts

Increasing consistency in public reporting of health care quality data across states

Field of Work: State reporting on health care quality

Problem Synopsis: New state laws now require states to report on mortality rates, hospital-acquired infections and medical errors. State agencies are also under pressure to add information on health care costs and outcomes to their reports, and to document the validity of their data. Some of the information is hard to collect, and efforts to do so often provoke resistance from providers. State reporting initiatives are also severely underfunded.

Synopsis of the Work: From 2005 to 2010, the Quality Reporting Workgroup of the National Association of Health Data Organizations (NAHDO) worked to improve state reporting on the quality of hospital-based and other health care. The workgroup also coordinated state and national efforts to standardize reports on the quality of health care.

Key Results

NAHDO staff reported the following results to RWJF:

  • Project staff created the Web-based Quality Reporting Forum for workgroup members and forum subscribers to share questions, concerns, best practices, lessons learned and methodologies.
  • Project staff hosted 16 teleconferences and 10 webinars for workgroup members and others on state reporting on quality of care.
  • States greatly expanded their efforts to collect and report information on health care quality, and a growing number began including costs in their measures of quality, to help payers and patients make more informed decisions.
  • The Quality Reporting Workgroup helped shape national standards on state reporting on the quality of health care.