Background: Audit and feedback on professional practice and health care outcomes are the most often used interventions to change behaviour of professionals and improve quality of health care. However, limited information is available regarding preferred feedback for patients, professionals and health insurers.
Objective: Investigate the (differences in) preferences of receiving feedback between stakeholders, using the Dutch Head and Neck Audit as an example.
Methods: A total of 37 patients, medical specialists, allied health professionals and health insurers were interviewed using semi-structured interviews. Questions focussed on: Why, On what aspects and How do you prefer to receive feedback on professional practice and health care outcomes?
Results: All stakeholders mentioned that feedback can improve health care by creating awareness, enabling self-reflection and reflection on peers or colleagues, and by benchmarking to others. Patients prefer feedback on the actual professional practice that matches the health care received, whereas medical specialists and health insurers are interested mainly in health care outcomes. All stakeholders largely prefer a bar graph. Patients prefer a pie chart for patient-reported outcomes and experiences, while Kaplan-Meier survival curves are preferred by medical specialists. Feedback should be simple with firstly an overview, and 1-4 times a year sent by e-mail. Finally, patients and health professionals are cautious with regard to transparency of audit data.
Conclusions: This exploratory study shows how feedback preferences differ between stakeholders. Therefore, tailored reports are recommended. Using this information, effects of audit and feedback can be improved by adapting the feedback format and contents to the preferences of stakeholders.