Recently, federal agencies began providing data in healthcare public reports comparing the quality of various healthcare providers to enable consumers to make informed choices about their healthcare needs. Though there is a rise in the number of consumers searching online for hospital reports, the inadequate design of the system prevents them from completing their search. This research investigates the effect on a consumer's choice of a healthcare facility when anecdotal information is incorporated into healthcare public reports. A 2 × 3 × 2 between-subjects experimental study was conducted with 362 participants using anecdotal information, performance metrics, the phase of introduction of anecdotal information within the report and their interaction terms as predictors. The findings suggest that the nature of anecdotal information moderates the relationship between the quality of the facility based on public reports and the decision to go to that facility. The probability of choosing other hospitals was high when the hospitals presented had negative anecdotal comments. In addition, participants tend to rely on both anecdotal and public report information when making decisions about their choice of facility. However, they relied more on performance metrics when anecdotal comments were positive. The findings showed the need to integrate accurate, trustworthy user-generated comments into the reports generated by federal agencies. To further enhance the decision making and mitigate negative biases associated with the information, additional mechanisms such as summarized measures of performance metrics and reputation scores of the reviewers could be provided. Moreover, there is a need to identify better data presentation strategies to minimize the cognitive load experienced by the consumers.
International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics – Elsevier
Published: Jul 1, 2018
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