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‘Information revolution’ could backfire, says King’s Fund

By Laura Passi

The King's Fund has warned the Government's planned ‘information revolution' in access to records and information on patients' care could backfire.

A report from the think tank concludes that people would not necessarily make more informed decisions about their care if all information about hospitals' clinical quality was published in its current form.

They found that people tend to choose hospitals closer to them rather than travel further to a hospital reported to be of better quality.

However, people can be encouraged or ‘nudged' to pay more attention to the clinical quality of hospitals, if information is presented differently, the think tank added.

Anna Dixon, director of policy at the King's Fund, said: ‘Information providers should be cautious about patients' abilities to make complex decisions without some support. Innovative approaches such as using nudges can help but there needs to be an evidence-based approach to public reporting in future.'

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