Joint Commission releases 2017 quality, safety report: 3 takeaways

The Joint Commission's 2017 Annual Report, released Tuesday, shows hospitals have made good strides to boost quality performance, although there is still room for improvement.

The report incorporates data from 3,200 Joint Commission-accredited hospitals regarding quality performance and reporting in 2016.

Here are three takeaways from the report.

1. More hospitals are adopting and reporting more electronic clinical quality measures. Last year, 470 accredited hospitals submitted eCQM data to The Joint Commission, compared to just 34 hospitals in 2015. In 2017, the organization expects more than 2,000 hospitals to report eCQMs.

2. Hospitals demonstrated strong performance on accountability measures. The Joint Commission defines accountability measures as "evidence-based care processes closely associated with positive patient outcomes." For this year's report, the organization assessed 15 accountability measures from seven areas: inpatient psychiatric services, venous thromboembolism care, stroke care, perinatal care, immunization, tobacco use treatment and substance use care. CMS and The Joint Commission retired 14 other measures at the end of 2015 because hospitals consistently demonstrated high performance for them. In 2016, some individual measures increased as much as 9.8 percentage points, while a few declined slightly.

Here are the composite scores for four care areas in 2016:

  • Inpatient psychiatric services — 92.1 percent, up from 89.7 percent in 2012
  • Perinatal care — 98.1 percent, up from 57.6 percent in 2012
  • Tobacco use treatment — 87.7 percent, up from 75.8 percent in 2014
  • Substance use care — 82.2 percent, up from 58.2 percent in 2014

There are no composite scores for VTE, stroke or immunization this year, as each area only contains one accountability measure.

3. The 2016 composite accountability score demonstrated a slight decline. The composite accountability score encompasses the results of all individual accountability measures. The 2016 overall composite score was 92.4 percent, representing a slight decrease from 93.7 percent in 2015. The Joint Commission attributed the decline to the 14 measures that were retired in 2015, which accounted for about half of all cases in last year's composite rate.

For more information on the 2017 report, click here.

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