About the Center for Outcomes Research & Evaluation (CORE)

For over 25 years, Yale New Haven Health Services Corporation - Center for Outcomes Research & Evaluation (CORE) has been working to measure and report on the impact that policy changes have on our nation’s healthcare systems. Partnering with The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), CORE has been working on a national level to better communicate outcomes around hospital mortality, complications, readmission, payment, and excess days in acute care (EDAC).

CMS, CORE, and Velir have been partners for over seven years on the Chartbook initiative, a digital representation of data the communicates hospital quality.


The Challenge

In 2010, The Medicare Hospital Quality Chartbook was created to share measurements around mortality, complications, readmission, payment, and EDAC. As the adoption of digital tools in the medical community increased, the need arose to translate this report from its original format into an interactive online tool for both CMS and the greater public to use. Ultimately, we wanted Chartbook to allow easier access to the data that drives decisions about the overall quality in hospitals.

CMS and CORE's key challenges were:

  • Converting an analog, non-digital report into a compelling digital platform
  • Building interactive data visualizations that can generate custom reports
  • Establishing a platform that's scalable and easy for content authors to use

Our Approach

We began with a series of planning sessions, UX workshops, and design sessions to understand the available data, and to envision what the platform would look like. We knew that we not only had to provide a platform for data visualizations, but to also create a place for experts to explain the process, link to briefs, and provide context around the project.

Because of the ever-changing nature of healthcare data, the data sets powering the visualizations also needed to be easy for CORE content authors to update. We used Drupal 7 and ReactJS to power complex visualizations from single CSV uploads.

A screen recording of Measure Results by Hospital and Geographic Location.

The site allows audiences to select states and characteristics in the Measure Results by Hospital and Geographic Location chart.

Our approach included:

  • Planning collaboratively with CORE
  • Sketching and designing pages and visualizations to represent data and website functionality
  • Developing the platform based on the requirements and designs gathered in earlier project phases
  • Building the site with Drupal and ReactJS to power visualizations from CSV data

The Solution

The outcome of our project was the Chartbook platform, an interactive, data-driven website that visualizes data and focuses on:

  • Comparing hospital peer groups
  • Payment measures
  • Trends such as national rates over time
  • Social risk factors such as state-level disparity

Data also showed inequalities based on hospital characteristics and social risk factors. By allowing audiences to narrow visualizations by specific risk factors, the visualizations spotlight these inequalities. 

A screenshot of a data visualization from the CMS Chartbook displaying social risk factors, like "With Medicaid" and "African-American."

The CMS Chartbook can display social risk factors for risk-standardized mortality rates.