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Joint Commission Report Shows Gains in Safety, Quality
Date:11/24/2008

Where a patient receives care makes a difference

OAKBROOK TERRACE, Ill., Nov. 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In some very critical areas, Joint Commission-accredited hospitals in America have steadily improved the quality of patient care over a six-year period, saving lives and improving the health of thousands of patients, according a Joint Commission report. Improving America's Hospitals: The Joint Commission's Report on Quality and Safety2008, an analysis of National Patient Safety Goal compliance and hospital quality measures related to heart attacks, heart failure, pneumonia, or surgical conditions, provides scientific evidence of improved patient care.

There were some dramatic improvements over the six-year period of data collection, especially in providing smoking cessation advice. For example, hospitals provided this advice to 98.2 percent of heart attack patients in 2007 compared with 66.6 percent in 2002. Hospitals greatly improved their results from 2002 to 2007 in providing this advice to heart failure patients (from 42.2 percent in 2002 to 95.7 percent in 2007) and patients with pneumonia (from 37.2 percent to 93.7 percent). Other strong improvements included providing discharge instructions to heart failure patients (from 30.9 percent to 77.5 percent) and providing pneumococcal screening and vaccination to pneumonia patients (from 30.2 percent to 83.9 percent).

However, the report does show that, for the third consecutive year, not all hospitals deliver the same level of quality and that some hospitals perform better than others in treating particular conditions. For example, hospitals provided discharge instructions to heart failure patients on average 92.1 percent of the time in the highest performing state, but provided discharge instructions 56.5 percent of the time in the lowest performing state. The performance difference among states is greater than 10 percenta
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SOURCE The Joint Commission
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