Joint Commission names care quality leaders in five categories

October 15, 2011

"Top Performers on Key Quality Measures," a recently published list of 405 hospitals singled out by the Joint Commission for excellence in patient care, includes 30 CHA member hospitals.

The Joint Commission has been collecting data on select core measures of patient care at accredited hospitals and critical access hospitals since 2002, but this is the first time the accrediting agency has spotlighted hospitals that it says are "leading the way as American hospitals as a whole continue to improve quality performance." The list is not a ranking; rather, it captures all hospitals that consistently followed accountable care measures, or clinical care protocols that research has proven improve patient outcomes.

Frank Zibrat, the Joint Commission's associate director for accreditation and certification operations, said the Top Performers list published in September as part of the commission's 2011 Annual Report has caught the attention of senior-most health care managers and board members, particularly those at hospitals that did not make the top cut. Zibrat said he's received many calls from disappointed health leaders asking for details of their facilities' assessments with the intent of identifying potential shortfalls in ongoing quality improvement efforts.

Zibrat said quality care specialists at hospitals in the Top Performers group have told him the distinction has affirmed the decisions by hospital leaders to invest in staff to collect improvement data and in process changes that drive performance improvement.

"We here at the Joint Commission fully expect to see hospitals are going to try even harder to make the list" going forward, Zibrat said. Beginning in January, Joint Commission accredited hospitals will be required to meet performance improvement targets related to select areas of patient care.

The Joint Commission has long required its accredited hospitals to report data that captures adherence to scientifically proven clinical protocols in at least four of 10 patient care categories. Each hospital chooses its reporting categories based on its patient population and clinical services. The Top Performers list focuses on five of those categories: heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, surgery and children's asthma care.

The criteria for inclusion in the Top Performers group include a requirement that the hospital meet performance thresholds in a given category in at least 95 percent of patient care. So, for example, hospitals that were recognized for superior care for heart attack patients were consistent in giving these patients an aspirin when they arrived at the hospital; a fibrinolytic therapy, or clot-busting drug within 30 minutes; a percutaneous coronary intervention therapy within 90 minutes; and, at discharge, orders for aspirin, a beta-blocking drug and an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibiting drug or an angiotensin II receptor blocking drug.

Zibrat said the Top Performer categories are being expanded to include an analysis of adherence to accountability measures in stroke and venous thromboembolism treatment. The Joint Commission expects to include a category for inpatient psychiatric services in its next Top Performer assessment as well.

Ten ministry hospitals were recognized as standouts in four of the five categories in the inaugural Top Performers list. Ministry hospitals that made the grade as Top Performers are, in alphabetical order by state:

  • Chandler Regional Medical Center, Chandler, Ariz.
  • Bakersfield Memorial Hospital, Bakersfield, Calif.
  • Petaluma Valley Hospital, Petaluma, Calif.
  • Saint John's Health Center, Santa Monica, Calif.
  • Mercy Hospital – Council Bluffs, Iowa
  • St. Francis Health Center, Topeka, Kan.
  • Saint Joseph Berea, Ky.
  • St. Joseph Hospital, Bangor, Maine
  • Holy Cross Hospital of Silver Spring, Md.
  • St. Mary's Health Center, Jefferson City, Mo.
  • SSM St. Joseph Hospital West, Lake Saint Louis, Mo.
  • St. Francis Hospital & Health Services, Maryville, Mo.
  • Alegent Health Bergan Mercy Medical Center, Omaha, Neb.
  • St. Joseph Hospital, Nashua, N.H.
  • Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center, Camden, N.J.
  • Holy Name Medical Center, Teaneck, N.J.
  • Bon Secours Community Hospital, Port Jervis, N.Y.
  • Mercy Hospital – Mt. Airy, Cincinnati
  • Mercy Willard Hospital, Willard, Ohio
  • Holy Spirit Hospital, Camp Hill, Pa.
  • Mercy Suburban Hospital, East Norriton, Pa.
  • Avera Queen of Peace Hospital, Mitchell, S.D.
  • Avera Heart Hospital of South Dakota, Sioux Falls, S.D.
  • Baptist Hospital of Cocke County, Newport, Tenn.
  • Dell Children's Medical Center of Central Texas, Austin, Texas
  • Seton Southwest Hospital, Austin, Texas
  • Seton Edgar B. Davis Hospital, Luling, Texas
  • Providence Centralia Hospital, Centralia, Wash.
  • Langlade Hospital, Antigo, Wis.
  • Ministry Good Samaritan Health Center, Merrill, Wis.


Copyright © 2011 by the Catholic Health Association of the United States
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