Make sure to examine data as a whole, but also think of groups that might present different patterns.

For example, the following survey item: “Providers in the clinic are open to ideas from staff about how to improve care processes.”

Averaging answers from both staff and providers, could demonstrate a majority answer neither agree nor disagree. However, when examined separately, staff and provider responses differ in important ways.

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Similarly, there are likely groups of patients whose data you want to examine separately.

Groups to consider: male and female patients, members of different racial/ethnic groups, patients with different types of insurance

For example, the following survey item: My provider(s) include me in making decisions about treatment. Examining patients as a whole may reveal moderate scores, but may mask differences if you compare English speaking patients to those who use an interpreter during their clinic visits.

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