Outcomes data added to accreditation process

The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations next year will begin its long-anticipated initiative to require outcomes data as part of the accreditation process.

By the end of this year, all hospitals have to select an approved performance measurement company and a minimum of two clinical performance indicators that relate to at least 20% of their patient populations.

Beginning next year, the companies will begin reporting the outcomes data. In following years, the amount of data expands to four data sets covering at least 40% of patient care, then six sets accounting for 60%, until hospitals are reporting all of their outcomes.

The Joint Commission does not plan to release the information publicly but notes that that policy is subject to change.

Initiative will improve accountability

Having objective feedback, according to the Joint Commission, will enable organizations to support their improvement activities and demonstrate accountability to the public.

Called ORYX, the initiative, is beginning with hospitals and long-term care facilities. It will expand to include integrated delivery networks, health plans, and provider-sponsored organizations. Eventually, the Joint Commission will put in place requirements for home care, behavioral health, ambulatory care, and laboratory accreditation programs.