Redefining Healthcare Data Dissemination: Hospital Compare's User-Centered Approach to Visualizing and Analyzing Complex Data


The Hospital Compare project was a collaboration between Capital Technology Group and Datawheel to rethink the dissemination of public data provided by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Appreciating the critically important and rich data that CMS publishes, we set out to leverage our expertise in software development, data processing and human-centered design to build a platform that brings CMS’s care and quality data to life through dynamic narratives and data visualizations. Our goal is to deliver a platform that translates CMS’s raw data into an informative and delightful experience in support of government administrators, public health researchers, and everyday citizens.



Domains of Expertise

Software Engineering, Cloud, DevOps, Data & Analytics, Human-centered Design

Tools and Technologies

Java, Typescript, React, React Native, SQL, Active Directory, SAML, OAuth2, OpenID Connect (OIDC), GraphQL

Strategy & Solution

Our process began by conducting user research. We interviewed key stakeholders, including doctors, patients, healthcare administrators, public health researchers, and members of the general public. We took the output from these interviews and distilled them into a content outline and high-level sitemap. The content outline enabled us to develop an initial blueprint and roadmap to drive the development of the platform. Once the content outline was prepared, we began developing low-fidelity wireframes and the sitemap, and in parallel we began developing the core infrastructure that we would need for our initial prototype.

The project focused on two main areas of functionality: viewing detailed data on individual hospitals across a variety of topics and performing comparisons between hospitals along the same variety of topics. Detailed information on individual hospitals is provided in the form of narrative “profiles”. Each hospital profile page is an intelligent, data-driven template that generates a user-friendly report that summarizes key statistics from each hospital’s data. It presents the information to users via easy-to-follow summary statistics, narrative summaries, and data visualizations.

The Results

Streamlined Analysis

Centralized disparate data sources resulting in streamlined analysis.

Simultaneous Comparison

Provided side-by-side visual comparative analyses for multiple hospitals simultaneously.

Quantitative Categorization

Applied Revealed Comparative Advantage calculations to quantitatively categorize hospitals’ unique specialization areas.

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