Explain data in feedback reports

Because all data are biased to a certain extent, it is important to include an explanation in physician performance reports about how the data are derived. When explaining data to physicians, or any group, keep in mind that the audience will be less familiar with the data than you.

Physicians are often confused or threatened by the data, despite the best attempts to communicate with them in advance. If a physician ignores the organization's verbal explanations and misinterprets the report, a written explanation provides an additional opportunity to communicate that information.

When explaining the perfromance report:

  • Describe the format so physicians can read it accurately
  • List the sources that supplied the data
  • Acknowledge the data's limitations

Although the first two topics are generally understood, many hospitals fail to recognize the importance of acknowledging the data's limitation—a critical step when developing a perfromance improvement culture. If the organization tells physicians up front that the data is imperfect, they will much more likely believe that the organization will use performance data to detect major performance problems, not to single out poor performers.

Found in Categories: 
Peer Review, OPPE, and FPPE, Quality