Get ready to start collecting

Accreditation from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations will now integrate outcomes and performance measurement data.

The Joint Commission decision requires hospitals and long-term care facilities to collect and transmit performance data quarterly beginning in 1999. The Joint Commission will use the data to continually monitor the performance of accredited organizations rather than collect data once every three years. The data also will benefit hospitals and long-term care facilities by identifying issues needing attention and monitoring corrective plans, say Joint Commission officials.

Already about 70% of hospitals are complying with the requirement, notes Dennis S. O’Leary, MD, president of the Joint Commission. Long-term care facility participation is at about 33%, he adds.

Called ORYX: The Next Evolution in Accreditation, the Joint Commission program requires hospitals and long-term care facilities to choose one of 60 Joint Commission approved measurement systems and two clinical performance indicators that relate to at least 20% of the organization’s patient population. The Joint Commission’s own Indicator Measure-ment System is among the list of approved systems.

Data must be submitted monthly

Although providers have until Dec. 31, 1997, to choose a system, the Joint Commission will require providers to submit data monthly to their vendor beginning in 1998. The Joint Commission will publish an explanation of the ORYX requirements in an accreditation manual insert. Included in the insert is a detailed profile of each of the 60 systems and guidance on selecting a system.

New chapters will be included in the Joint Commission’s hospital and long-term care accreditation manuals covering the rules on performance measures.