Rates of healthcare-associated infections (HAI) are being reported on an increasing number of public information websites in response to legislative mandates driven by consumer advocacy. This represents a new strategy to advance patient safety and quality of care by informing a broad audience about the relative performance of individual healthcare facilities. Unlike typical consumer health informatics products, the target audience and targeted health behaviors are less easily defined; further, the impact on providers to improve care is unknown relative to other incentives to improve. To address critical knowledge gaps facing all state agencies embarking on this new frontier, we found it essential and straightforward to recruit the assistance of university research faculty from a variety of disciplines. That interdisciplinary group was quickly able to define a 5-year applied evaluation research agenda spanning a progressive set of crucial questions.
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