Quality of Care at U.S. Hospitals Shows
THURSDAY, Sept. 23 (HealthDay News) -- There have been major
improvements in the quality of care provided by U.S. hospitals,
according to an annual report released this week by the national
organization that accredits hospitals and other health-care
organizations and programs.
The Joint Commission's analysis of data from more than 3,000
accredited hospitals found continual improvement over eight years
on evidence-based measures of care for heart attack, pneumonia,
surgical care and children's asthma care.
For example, the heart attack care result improved from 88.6
percent in 2002 to 97.7 percent in 2009. A 97.7 percent score means
that hospitals provided evidence-based heart attack treatment such
as aspirin at arrival and beta-blockers at discharge 977 times out
Among the other findings:
- The care result for children's asthma increased from 70.7
percent in 2007 to 88.1 percent in 2009.
- The pneumonia care result rose from 72.4 percent in 2002 to
92.9 percent in 2009.
- The surgical care result improved from 77.4 percent in 2004 to
95.8 percent in 2009.
- The overall use of evidence-based measures increased from 81.8
percent in 2002 to 95.4 percent in 2009.
However, improvements are still needed in a number of areas,
according to the report. For example, only 55.2 percent of
hospitals achieved 90 percent compliance or better in providing
fibrinolytic therapy to heart attack patients within 30 minutes of
arrival. Only 67.5 percent of hospitals achieved 90 percent
compliance or better in providing antibiotics to intensive care
unit pneumonia patients within 24 hours of arrival.
"It is very encouraging that this year's report shows high rates of performance on these critical process measures and high levels of consistent excellence among hospitals on many measures," Dr. Mark R. Chassin, president of The Joint Commission, said in a commission news release. "Hospitals devote enormous resources and energy to using these performance measures to drive improvement in their clinical processes. This report demonstrates that these efforts are resulting in consistently improving patient care in America's hospitals."
The U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality offers a
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