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Joint Commission names top 405 hospitals

by Brendon Nafziger, DOTmed News Associate Editor | September 14, 2011
The Joint Commission released its inaugural list of the top-performing hospitals Wednesday.

The 405 hospitals on the list come from 45 states and represent the top 14 percent of hospitals and critical access hospitals in 2010 that were accredited by the organization and that reported core performance data.

The Oakbrook Terrace, Ill.-based hospital accrediting group said it started the Top Performers on Key Quality Measures program to honor hospital staffs' hard work in performing well on the evidence-based measures.
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The hospitals were ranked across 22 accountability measures for heart attack, heart failure, surgical care, pneumonia and children's asthma care.

Examples of proper performance include giving heart attack patients aspirin upon arrival, or administering antibiotics to pneumonia patients with weakened immune systems in the ICU.

To make the list, hospitals have to reach a 95 percent composite score on all accountability measures they report to the Joint Commission, including measures for which they have 30 or fewer eligible cases. They also have to reach 95 percent score for each accountability measure they report, excluding those for which they have 30 or fewer eligible cases.

Accountability measures are those the Joint Commission says are shown to most affect patient outcomes. Last year, the group split its measures into accountability and "non-accountability" measures.

The group said that overall, performance on accountability measures has improved in the more than 3,000 accredited hospitals analyzed. In 2002, hospitals reached 82 percent composite performance scores on 957,000 health care opportunities. But in 2010, they achieved 97 percent composite performance scores on 12.3 million opportunities.

Plus, about 92 percent of all hospitals achieved 90 percent or more composite scores, dramatically up from the 20 percent who reached those scores in 2002.

Still, there's some work to do. For instance, hospitals didn't perform that well on a measure introduced in 2005, providing fibrinolytic therapy within half an hour of arrival to heart attack patients. Only about 61 percent of hospitals achieved 90 percent compliance or better on this measure, the group said.

To check out the top performers, go here: http://www.jointcommission.org/assets/1/18/Top_Performers_2010_list_9_13_11.pdf

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