Joint Commission's Newly Enhanced Quality Check Helps Americans Choose Healthcare Services


OAKBROOK TERRACE, Ill. -- The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations today launched a new generation of reporting healthcare information about the quality and safety of care provided in its accredited healthcare organizations across the country.


 The Joint Commission's Quality Check will provide clear, objective data to individuals that will permit them to compare local hospitals, home care agencies, nursing homes, laboratories, and ambulatory care organizations with others on state and national bases.  Further, the Joint Commission will, for the first time, provide hospital-specific information about clinical performance in the care of patients with four major conditions:  heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, and pregnancy and related conditions. 


 Individuals will also be able to determine how healthcare organizations compare with others in meeting national requirements that help them prevent devastating medical accidents. The requirements specifically seek to avoid misidentification of patients, surgery on the wrong body part, miscommunication among caregivers, unsafe use of infusion pumps, medication mix-ups, problems with equipment alarm systems, and infections acquired in the healthcare setting.


 Consumers can access Quality Check at and search for healthcare organizations by name, type, and/or location. Interactive links to information are designed to help individuals better understand how to use and interpret the information presented. Individuals are encouraged to talk with their doctors about the information presented on Quality Check.


"More than ever before, Americans are seeking information to help them make sound decisions about their healthcare," says Dennis S. O'Leary, MD, president of Joint Commission. "Quality Check is an important new source of quality-related information that will substantially enrich the consumer's knowledge base."


 "We are very pleased that comparative data on hospital performance regarding four major conditions will be available on Quality Check, and we look forward to the inclusion of additional conditions as soon as possible," said Joyce Dubow, associate director of the AARP Public Policy Institute. "The Joint Commission's decision to provide the public with the opportunity to see how well hospitals compare to one another should stimulate these institutions to improve care and also permit patients to make more informed choices about hospital care."


 "The Joint Commission's Quality Check is an important step forward in ensuring the availability of national healthcare quality and safety information," said Sheryl Niebuhr, PhD, LP, manager of the Total Compensation Resource Center at 3M. "Quality Check helps consumers make informed choices while helping payers and providers better manage the quality, safety and cost of healthcare."


Quality Check uses symbols, such as checks, pluses and minuses to make it easy for consumers to compare healthcare organizations. Quality Check reports include:


-- The organization's accreditation decision and effective date

-- Healthcare services provided by the organization that are accredited by the Joint Commission

-- National Quality Improvement Goals, which portray the performance of hospitals in caring for patients with heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, and pregnancy and related conditions.  These currently apply only to hospitals.

-- National Patient Safety Goals, which display the performance of healthcare organizations in taking specific steps to prevent serious accidents in healthcare.  The goals and their related discrete requirements are specific to different types of healthcare settings accredited by the Joint Commission (for example, hospitals, ambulatory care organizations, clinical laboratories). 

-- Special quality awards and other distinctions, such as magnet hospital recognition and/or participation in the Hospital Voluntary Public Reporting Initiative

-- Commentary about the Quality Check report, if the organization chooses to submit one for inclusion

-- Requirements for improvement, if applicable


Source: Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations


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