Informed choice: helping patients make better decisions

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What did we do in this project?

The final report, Choosing a high-quality hospital: the role of nudges, scorecard design and information, synthesizing the findings from the focus groups and online surveys, was published in November 2010. This report makes recommendations for policy-makers and those designing online comparative quality information.

This research reinforces the importance of paying attention to what information is presented and how, and cautions against a mantra that 'more information is always better'.

Why are we interested in this piece of work?

With increasing emphasis being placed on the role of the internet in helping people to make informed choices about their health care, this project explored whether or not comparative hospital data helps patients to make better choices.

The project, a joint venture between The King's Fund and experts in decision making at the London School of Economics and the IESE Business School, sought to inform the development of public- and patient-facing websites that present comparative information about quality and performance.

The project makes recommendations about how comparative quality information can best be presented to ensure that it is clear and accessible to all, regardless of levels of education, literacy and/or numeracy, and to maximise the role that quality information can play in decision making.

Project team

  • Anna Dixon
  • Tammy Foreman
  • Barbara Fasolo
  • Elena Reutskaja