Quality leaders

Joint Commission names top-performing hospitals in annual quality and safety report

In its 2011 Improving America's Hospitals report, the Joint Commission for the first time has listed hospitals that are top-performers in adhering to evidence-based care practices that enhance patient outcomes.

The Joint Commission listed 405 hospitals in 45 states that sustained excellence on 22 accountability measures in the organization's Top Performers on Key Quality Measures Program for all of 2010. The measures are related to myocardial infarction (MI), heart failure, pneumonia, surgical care, stroke care, and children's asthma care, among others.

To be recognized, a hospital had to meet or exceed 95% performance on a composite score that included all of the accountability measures, and meet or exceed 95% performance on every performance measure that it reports to the Joint Commission. Overall, the hospitals represent roughly 14% of Joint Commission-accredited hospitals that report quality data.

"Today the public expects transparency in the reporting of performance at the hospitals where they receive care, and the Joint Commission is shining a light on the top-performing hospitals that have achieved excellence on a number of vital measures of quality of care," Joint Commission President Mark Chassin said.

See a list of the top-performing hospitals here.

Report findings
Overall, the sixth annual report—which draws on data for more than 3,000 U.S. hospitals—showed that hospitals have continued to improve on accountability measures across the past nine years. For example, the data show that hospitals in 2010 achieved 96.6% composite performance on 12.3 million opportunities to perform care processes related to accountability measures, up from 81.8% composite performance on 957,000 opportunities in 2002.

In addition, the report found that:

  • MI care result increased by 11.5% from 2002 to 2010;
  • Pneumonia care result increased from 72.3% in 2002 to 95.2% in 2010;
  • Surgical care result increased to 96.4% in 2010, up from 82.1% in 2005; and
  • The percentage of hospitals achieving composite accountability measures reached 91.7% in 2010, up from 20.4% in 2002.

Despite the strong performance, the report noted that hospitals finished 2010 with slightly low performance on two quality metrics: providing fibrinolytic therapy within 30 minutes to MI patients and providing antibiotics to immunocompetent ICU pneumonia patients.

"By following evidence-based care processes, hospitals can improve the quality of the care they provide and meet national mandates regarding performance," Chassin said. "The Joint Commission will continue to seek new methods to inspire and assist hospitals to excel in providing safe and effective care of the highest quality and value" (Eaken Zhani, Joint Commission release, 9/14).


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