Nov. 4—The number of hospitals garnering the Joint Commission’s highest rating for quality care and outcomes jumped 77 percent in the latest ranking.

The Joint Commission’s 2013 list of Top Performer on Key Quality Measures hospitals—based on an aggregation of quality measure data reported during the previous calendar year—included 1,099 hospitals, or 33 percent of all reporting hospitals. The number of top-ranked hospitals was a 77 percent increase over the 620 that received the recognition in 2012. 

The list recognized hospitals’ performance on 47 measures of evidence-based care processes that are linked to positive patient outcomes. 

Another 20 percent, or 673, of Joint Commission-accredited hospitals were one measure short of the highest-ranked status. The large share of hospitals at or near the highest level in the quality rankings was touted by the Joint Commission.

“This truly shows that we are approaching a tipping point in hospital quality performance,” Mark R. Chassin, MD, FACP, president and CEO of the Joint Commission, said in the rankings report. “The results prove once again that shared goals, data, and solutions improve healthcare quality and contribute to better health outcomes for patients.”

All of the recognized hospitals demonstrated that they provided one of several evidence-based practices 95 times out of every 100 opportunities. Best practices measured included giving aspirin to arriving heart attack patients, giving antibiotics one hour before surgery, and providing a home management plan for children with asthma.

The latest hospital quality improvements were part of trend among Joint Commission-accredited hospitals. The commission gave the top rank to 406 hospitals in 2010 and 620 hospitals last year.

Additionally, 424 hospitals received the rank for the last two years and 182 hospitals were so recognized for the past three years in a row.

Among the areas where hospital improvements are most needed, according to the report, was in providing care plans or discharge instructions, including creating home management care plans for child asthma patients.

Publication Date: Monday, November 04, 2013