NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Hospitals continue to improve their quality of care nationwide, according to the latest annual report from the Joint Commission, an accrediting body for the health care industry.
The Joint Commission found that in 2010, hospitals collectively achieved a score of 96.6% on 12.3 million opportunities for care, an improvement from 2009, when hospitals achieved a score of 95.4% on 12.5 million opportunities to treat a patient.
The numbers also show an improvement of 14.8 percentage points from the first time the study was conducted in 2002. That year, hospitals achieved a score 81.8% on 957,000 opportunities for care.
The report grades accredited hospitals on the services provided in instances of heart attack, heart failure and pneumonia. It also analyzes a hospital’s surgical care and children’s asthma care. The Joint Commission saw marked improvements in all areas measured in its report, with the highest increase being posted by pneumonia care, up 22.9 percentage points since 2002.
In 2010, a total of 405 hospitals were highlighted for maintaining or improving scores of 90% or more from 2009, out of more than 3,000 accredited hospitals included in the survey.
But the report also noted areas hospitals still need to work on, including providing advanced therapies to heart attack patients within the first half hour of being admitted.
"While the data across the annual report show impressive gains in hospital quality performance on many specific measures, further improvements can still be made," Mark R. Chassin, president of the Joint Commission, said in a press release. “Hospitals that commit themselves to accreditation-related quality improvement efforts such as the use of evidence-based treatments create better outcomes for patients and, ultimately, a healthier nation."
U.S. residents can see how the hospitals in their area performed at Qualitycheck.org.
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