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This report is from AHRQ's series on Health Systems Partnership Pilot Project Reports. These reports describe the efforts of Evidence-based Practice Centers (EPCs) to work with health care decisionmakers and facilitate the use of information from AHRQ EPC evidence reports.
- Purpose: To discern if the inclusion of a hyperlinked quality measure index (QMI) enhances the usability of EPC reports.
- Findings: The use of QMI is considered novel, increases the speed at which quality measure information from an EPC report can be retrieved, and increases the likelihood that EPC reports will be used by health systems.
- Lessons Learned for EPC Program: There are small enhancements to our current reports which can improve the usability and likeability of reports and including health systems in the process of determining the most promising enhancements which increases the value of the final product created.
- Utility for Health Systems: QMI increased efficiency of determining whether quality measure information in an EPC report is relevant to their needs.
Background. EPC reports are lengthy and difficult for health systems to navigate which could impede their use by these key stakeholders. In this project, we created a report enhancement, the addition of a quality measure index, to allow health systems to circumvent the minutia and more efficiently access information relevant to their needs.
Methods. We created and embedded two additional tables in a previously completed EPC report. The first identified quality measures covered by the report with descriptive information. The second contained page numbers in the report’s executive summary where those quality measures are addressed with hyperlinks to immediately navigate to those pages. We received feedback from health-system representatives, enhanced our tables, and created an exercise with two health-system targeted scenarios. We then had representatives from two different types of health systems (moderate-sized community and small academic but rural) complete the exercises and answer 3 questions regarding their current use of EPC reports, the ease of using the enhanced tables, and the likelihood of using EPC reports with enhanced tables such as these.
Results. Our initial enhanced quality measure tables were well regarded by four representatives of a large academic health system. They provided suggestions for improvement as did members of AHRQ. We incorporated them in revised quality measure tables. We piloted the proposed exercise with two pharmacy students before sending it to two health-system representatives. Correct answers were found in both scenarios. It took our health-system participants 68 to 82 percent less time to find quality measure information when the hyperlinked quality measure indexing tables were available. In the qualitative portion of the assessment, both health-system representatives stated they rarely used EPC reports, they both found the quality measure index tables very easy to use, and one was somewhat likely and the other very likely to use the reports in the future if they had enhanced quality measure tables like these available.
Discussion/Conclusion. We identified a unique concept that can allow current EPC reports be more user friendly to health systems. Working in concert with representatives from different types of health systems, we were able to refine the quality measure indexed tables so that they were easier to understand and navigate and to enhance the efficiency of finding relevant information. Quality measure indexing is a promising and novel approach to enhance the usability of EPC reports for health systems.
Suggested citation: White CM, Coleman CI, Jackman K. Assessing the Impact of Indexing Performance Measure Codes on the Perceived Value of EPC Reports to Health Systems. Methods Research Report. (Prepared by the University of Connecticut Evidence-based Practice Center under Contract No. 290-2015-00012-I.) AHRQ Publication No. 18-EHC022-EF. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. September 2018. Posted final reports are located on the Effective Health Care Program search page.
White CM, Coleman CI, Jackman K, Roman YM. AHRQ Series on Improving Translation of Evidence: Linking Evidence Reports and Performance Measures to Help Learning Health Systems Use New Information for Improvement. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2019;45(10):706–710.