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November 17, 2015

Joint Commission names 'Top Performer' hosptials. Did yours make the list?

Daily Briefing

The Joint Commission on Tuesday recognized 1,043 hospitals as "Top Performers" for achieving "outstanding" performance on key quality measures.

The fifth-annual "Top Performer on Key Quality Measures" list was included in the organizations 2015 annual Improving America's Hospitals report.


The Joint Commission evaluated hospitals on 49 accountability measures "of evidence-based care processes closely linked to positive patient outcomes."

Like previous years, hospitals submitted 2014 data on:

  • Heart attack care;
  • Heart failure care;
  • Pneumonia care;
  • Surgical care;
  • Children's asthma care;
  • Inpatient psychiatric services;
  • Venous thromboembolism care;
  • Stroke care;
  • Perinatal care; and
  • Immunization.

In addition, the commission added two sets of measures related to tobacco treatment and substance misuse in 2015.

Previous top performers

To earn "Top Performer" status, a hospital must:

  • Meet or exceed 95% performance on a composite score for all reported accountability measures;
  • Meet or exceed 95% performance on each and every reported accountability measure where there are at least 30 denominator cases; and
  • Have at least one core measure set with a composite rate of at least 95%, where all applicable individual accountability measures have a performance rate of at least 95%.

A 95% score indicates that a "hospital provided an evidence-based practice 95 times out of every 100 opportunities," such as giving a heart attack patient aspirin at arrival.

How to advance evidence-based practice as your organization

Results and outlook

This year, the Joint Commission recognized 1,043 hospitals at "Top Performers," making up 31.5% of all hospitals accredited by the commission. By comparison, the Joint Commission recognized 1,224 hospitals—36.9% of those accredited—in 2014. However, the addition of several new accountability measures for 2015 and the retirement of others makes year-to-year comparisons difficult.

This year, 665 hospitals were just one measure short of gaining "Top Performer" status. And the Joint Commission recognized 117 hospitals for being "Top Performers" for all five years of the report.

Mark Chassin, president and CEO of the Joint Commission, praised the Top Performer program as an important tool for measuring and rewarding hospitals' progress on improving quality.

However, in a letter accompanying the annual report, he announced that the Commission is temporarily suspending the Top Performer program. "Due to the evolving national performance measure environment—particularly within [CMS]—we have decided to place the current Top Performer program in hiatus for a year to be reevaluated," he wrote.

Chassin expects that the Commission will make a revamped list available in 2017 (Joint Commission report, 11/17).

Become a top performer now


In a pilot survey, 75% of CMO indicated that evidence-based practice (EBP) had achieved some measure of acceptance at their organization.

Yet, despite the shift toward broad acceptance of EBP among medical staff, over half of physicians report not actually using guidelines day-to-day when they are available. As a result, organizations continue to see tremendous variation in clinical practice—as well as in costs and outcomes.

This infographic outlines four principles you can use to support EBP at your organization, along with action steps to implement each one and pitfalls to avoid along the way.

Download it now

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