15 tips for giving feedback to health-care providers

June 8, 2016

A key tool for improving quality in health care is to audit how it is being provided and give feedback on how to improve. However, some kinds of feedback are more helpful than others. Dr. Jamie Brehaut and colleagues set out to learn what feedback was most likely to result in health-care providers changing their practice. Combining 10 years of systematic reviews, randomized controlled trials and expert interviews, they came up with 15 suggestions, now published in Annals of Internal Medicine. These suggestions include; make recommendations consistent with personal and/or institutional goals, suggest specific actions that the recipient can control, give regular recommendations instead of one-time feedback, and provide key messages in more than one way, such as text, numbers or visuals. The researchers hope these suggestions will enable more useful feedback that health care providers can use to improve care.

Authors: Brehaut, JC, Colquhoun HL, Eva KW, Carroll K, Sales A, Michie S, Ivers N, Grimshaw JM

Funders: Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Canada Research Chair (Dr. Grimshaw), The Ottawa Hospital Foundation.

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