Joint Commission reports gains in hospital safety, quality
- Patient care at U.S. hospitals continues to improve, according to a new Joint Commission report on hospitals quality and safety.
- Hospitals have improved so much the Joint Commission retired 20 accountability measures, effective Dec. 31, 2014, reducing the number of accountability measures the group tracks to 29.
- The report details the results of more than 3,300 Joint Commission-accredited hospitals’ 2015 performance on individual measures of patient care.
This year’s report tracked how hospitals performed on accountability measures for children’s asthma. Inpatient psychiatric services, venous thromboembolism care, stroke care, perinatal care, immunization, tobacco use and substance use care. The report also includes data on three non-accountability measures: Exclusive breast milk feeding, hospital-acquired potentially preventable VTE and multiple antipsychotic medications at discharge.
Among the key improvements for 2015 performance were:
- Perinatal care climbed to 97.6%, from 53.2% in 2011—the biggest improvement at 44.4 percentage points.
- Substance abuse care improved by 19.3% to 77.5%, up from 58.2% in 2014.
- Tobacco use treatment hit 84.2% compliance, an 8.4% improvement over 75.8% in 2014.
- VTE compliance rose to 95.2%, up 5.3% from 89.9% in 2011.
- Inpatient psychiatric services moved up 3% to 90.3%, from 87.3% in 2011.
- Stroke care compliance edged up 2.8% to 97.7%, from 94.9% in 2011.
With the shift to value-based payment models, hospitals increasingly have to demonstrate accountability on performance and outcomes measures.
Overall compliance last year dropped to 93.7%, from 97.2% in 2014, due to the fact that the remaining measures target areas needing improvement. The report discourages comparisons between the 2014 and 2015 results for that reason.