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Physician and other healthcare personnel responses to hospital stroke quality of care performance feedback: a qualitative study


Background Understanding how physicians and other healthcare personnel respond to hospital performance feedback initiatives may have important implications for quality improvement efforts. Our objective was to explore responses to the inaugural feedback of hospital performance on stroke quality of care measures among relevant physicians and personnel at the US Department of Veterans Health Administration (VHA) hospitals.

Methods Qualitative interviews with hospital administrators, physicians, nurses and quality managers at 12 VHA hospitals in the USA after the inaugural national release of the report on quality of acute stroke care processes. Interview transcripts were analysed using an immersion/crystallisation approach to identify recurrent themes.

Results Interviews were completed with 41 individuals at 12 VHA hospitals from diverse regions of the USA; the majority were clinicians, either physicians or nurses, and nearly all had 20 years of experience or more. Interviewees described general perceptions of internal performance feedback that were both positive and negative, such as the notion that performance feedback could provide value to clinicians and hospitals, but at the same time voiced concerns about being inundated with such data. Interviewees also expressed scepticism about public reporting of performance data, citing numerous concerns and limitations. However, when interviewees described specific experiences with performance feedback, nearly all reactions were positive, including excitement, interest and feeling validated about a job well done.

Discussion Physicians and other healthcare personnel described hospital performance feedback on stroke quality of care measures to be broadly valuable but identified areas of concern related to the measurement process and public reporting.

  • Qualitative research
  • Performance measures
  • Quality measurement
  • Healthcare quality improvement

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