According to a new report released by the Joint Commission, the nation’s most highly regarded hospitals – Johns Hopkins, Mayo Clinic, MGH, Cleveland Clinic – are not included among the top performing hospitals that used evidence-based processes closely linked to positive patient outcomes. Small and rural hospitals led the pack in being the most diligent in following best-practice protocols, such as giving aspirin to a person who is having a heart attack on arrival at the hospital, or the use of corticosteroids in children admitted with asthma, said the report, which was issued this week.

For the first time, Improving America’s Hospitals: The Joint Commission’s Annual Report on Quality and Safety recognizes hospitals and critical access hospitals that have achieved excellence in accountability measure performance through the Top Performers on Key Quality Measures Program. Three measure sets (heart attack care, heart failure care, and pneumonia care) were followed from 2002-2010, and 6 more measure sets have been followed (surgical care, children’s asthma care, inpatient psychiatric services, venous thromboembolism care, stroke care, and perinatal care test measures).  These sets include both accountability and non-accountability measures.

In 2002, hospitals achieved 81.8% composite performance to perform care processes related to accountability measures. In 2010, hospitals achieved 96.6% composite performance, a 9-year improvement of almost 15 percentage points, the report found. More than 9 in 10 hospitals had scores of at least 90%, which is more than 4 times the figure of 9 years ago. The top performing hospitals all scored 95% or better.

Starting in January, Joint Commission–accredited hospitals will be required to meet an 85% composite compliance target rate for performance on accountability measures. Some 121 hospitals would not pass that mark based on their 2010 scores.

Physician’s Weekly wants to know…

Is this list a wake-up call to larger hospitals to put more resources in these types of programs?