The Power of “Report Shaming”

This tweet was inspired by a hospital CIO who was talking about the power of reports to shame providers into doing what’s right. I was a little shocked myself when the CIO called it report shaming. No one likes the word shaming, but that’s really what’s happening. Sure, you could be more politically correct and call it holding doctors accountable or creating transparency in your organization, but you can’t argue that fear of being shamed isn’t a powerful form of motivation.

The nice thing in health care is that there’s usually a really powerful mission behind the reports. The report usually represents something that’s best for the patients and every doctor I know cares about improving the care they provide. Sometimes they just need a report to motivate them to do it. Shouldn’t any healthcare provider be ashamed if reports show that they’re not providing the best care possible?

Many could argue that these reports aren’t providing better care. If that’s the case, then you need to rethink the reports. Plus, there shouldn’t be shame in not complying with reports that don’t actually improve care and improve the organization’s ability to take care of patients. Providers should kick back against reports that don’t make health care better. However, I’ve found that it’s usually not the case.

Feel free to call it something other than report shaming if you wish, but there’s a real power in showing healthcare providers how well they’re performing. That becomes even more powerful when you share it across the organization. Technology has made this so simple to do. Our medical education system has created a highly competitive culture between doctors. So, it’s no surprise that performance transparency across providers really works to motivate them to do more and better.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of the, a network of leading Healthcare IT resources. The flagship blog, Healthcare IT Today, contains over 13,000 articles with over half of the articles written by John. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 20 million times.

John manages Healthcare IT Central, the leading career Health IT job board. He also organizes the first of its kind conference and community focused on healthcare marketing, Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference, and a healthcare IT conference,, focused on practical healthcare IT innovation. John is an advisor to multiple healthcare IT companies. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can be found on Twitter: @techguy.