Table 3.1

Public disclosure of potentially sensitive material relating to patients

  • The intended purpose of public disclosure should be made clear to all stakeholders

  • Public disclosure should be seen as an evolutionary process, becoming progressively more sophisticated and comprehensive over time

  • Public disclosure should be seen as one component of clinical governance

  • Provider organisations should be a key audience for information about performance

  • The financial cost of implementing a national policy on public disclosure is likely to be significant and should be considered alongside the benefits

  • Specific educational initiatives for target audiences should be implemented alongside public disclosure

  • Health professionals and their representative bodies should be fully involved in the process of public disclosure

  • Both process and outcome measures of quality should be published

  • Outcome indicators must be risk adjusted

  • Public disclosure should be accompanied by a strategy for monitoring the benefits and any unintended consequences

  • Public disclosure should be accompanied by possible explanations for the variations reported

  • A research and development programme focusing on the generation and evaluation of public performance data should be supported by the NHS R&D directorate