Top performers named on key quality measures

A new quality report from The Joint Commission includes 620 hospitals that are leading the way nationally in using evidence-based care processes closely linked to positive patient outcomes. The hospitals identified as attaining and sustaining excellence in accountability performance in 2011 represent about 18% of hospitals accredited by The Joint Commission reporting core measure performance data.

The annual report, "Improving America's Hospitals: The Joint Commission Annual Report on Quality and Safety 2012," summarizes the performance of more than 3,300 Joint Commission-accredited hospitals on 45 accountability measures of evidence-based care processes closely linked to positive patient outcomes. The Top Performers on Key Quality Measures designation is based on performance related to accountability measures for surgical care, venous thromboembolism (VTE) care, heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, children's asthma care, inpatient psychiatric services, and stroke care.

The surgical care measure has improved to 97.6% in 2011 from 82.1% in 2005, an improvement of 15.5 percentage points. This composite includes antibiotics within one hour before the first surgical cut, appropriate prophylactic antibiotics, stopping antibiotics within 24 hours, cardiac patients with 9 a.m. postoperative blood glucose, patients with appropriate hair removal, beta-blocker patients who received beta-blocker perioperatively, prescribing VTE medicine/treatment, receiving VTE medicine/treatment, and urinary catheter removed.

The list of top performers increased more than 50% to 620 hospitals from its debut last year, and 244 of the hospitals named in the new report are appearing on the list for the second year in a row. Each of the Top Performers met two 95% performance thresholds on 2011 accountability measure data. First, each hospital achieved performance of 95% or above on a single, composite score that includes all the accountability measures for which it reports data to The Joint Commission, including measures that had fewer than 30 eligible cases or patients. Second, each hospital met or exceeded 95% performance on every accountability measure for which it reports data to The Joint Commission, excluding any measures with fewer than 30 eligible cases or patients.