The Health Foundation has published a report, based primarily on research from the USA, that finds public reporting of performance results in improved quality of care.
In theory, according to the Health Foundation report, disclosing performance results increases the accountability of healthcare providers as managers will be concerned about maintaining their public image and increasing market share. It also motivates quality improvement activities in healthcare organisations, especially by targeting underperforming areas identified by the performance results. The report did indeed find that the public release of poor data was a major driving force in hospitals improving their quality of care. In New York, poor results also led to an increase in surgeons resigning.
The report also suggests that even in a country with an established market in healthcare, patient choice of hospital is not affected by poor results.
Download the report here.