A report from the independent regulatory group the Joint Commission suggests that the quality of care in U.S. hospitals has increased.
The organization surveyed the more than 3,000 hospitals it accredits and found that on average, hospitals are carrying out the recommended treatments.
The report indicates that hospitals gave out recommended treatments for ailments such as heart attacks, for which the correct treatment was given almost 98 percent of the time in 2009, versus 89 percent in 2002. For pneumonia, correct treatment was applied 93 percent of the time compared with 72 percent in 2002.
Some areas still need improvement, according to the commission’s research. For instance, pneumonia patients in intensive care received antibiotics in a timely fashion 68 percent of the time, versus 50 percent in 2005 when the organization began recording the data.
The commission attributes the improvements to the use of performance measures by hospitals.
“This report demonstrates that these efforts are resulting in consistently improving patient care in America’s hospitals,” said commission president Dr. Mark Chassin in prepared remarks.
The Commission introduced for the first time a focus on accountability measures to demonstrate that measures of evidence-based care are closely linked to positive patient outcomes.
Individuals can search for hospitals’ grades at QualityCheck.org.