Joint Commission Applauds Hospital Quality Alliances Initiatives to Make Clinical-Care Information Public


OAKBROOK TERRACE, Ill. -- The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) today applauded the public release of information on hospital clinical performance by the Hospital Quality Alliance. The measures used to produce this information meet the highest contemporary standards for reliability and validity.


The Hospital Quality Alliance and the launching of Hospital Compare mark an important milestone in the collaboration between the public and private sectors to reach consensus on relevant standardized performance measures and make public the performance data that have been gathered, says Dennis S. OLeary, MD, president of the Joint Commission. Our involvement as a charter participant in the Alliance underscores the Joint Commissions commitment to placing useful information in the hands of patients to help them better navigate the healthcare system.


 The initial measures for which performance information is being reported on heart attacks, heart failure and pneumonia were identified and developed by the Joint Commission in collaboration with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and were subsequently endorsed by the National Quality Forum (NQF).


Nearly 3,200 Joint Commission-accredited hospitals nationwide are currently collecting data on these clinical measures. In addition, the Joint Commission has been making information on these conditions as well as pregnancy and related conditions available since July 2004 on its free Quality Check Website at  The Joint Commissions Quality Check website provides clear, objective data that permit individuals to compare the performance of local hospitals against state and national averages both for individual performance measures and for aggregate performance at the clinical condition level (for example, for heart attack care). Quality Check also provides performance information on accredited home care agencies, nursing homes, ambulatory care facilities, behavioral health programs, and laboratories. 


In addition, users of Quality Check are able to determine how well healthcare organizations are performing in meeting separate standardized national patient safety goals that have specifically been designed to prevent serious medical errors. The requirements seek to avoid misidentification of patients, surgery on the wrong body part, miscommunication among caregivers, unsafe use of infusion pumps, medication mix-ups, and infections acquired in the healthcare setting, among other problem areas.


Source: Joint Commission

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