The Joint Commission, the nation’s major hospital accreditation board, is releasing its annual list of hospitals that have excelled at adhering to basic procedures for treating common illnesses such as heart attacks and strokes.
The commission is recognizing 620 hospitals – 18 percent of those it accredits — as “top performers” for following recommended protocols at least 95 percent of the time. That was an increase over last year, when, in its first effort to publicly single out hospitals based on performance, the commission praised 405 institutions. Some of the increase was due to hospitals performing better, but the commission this year also started evaluating psychiatric hospitals, 43 of which got top grades.
The commission joins a number of groups rating hospital quality by their own metrics. This year, the Leapfrog Group, a nonprofit devoted to patient safety, got into the act, as did Consumers Reports. Next month Medicare is going to start using hospital quality rankings on its Hospital Compare website to set reimbursements.