The measures were dropped because a high number of the more than 3,300 hospitals accredited by the Joint Commission were consistently using the evidence-based measures, according to a new report the commission planned to publish at 8:30 a.m. CT today, called “America’s Hospitals: Improving Quality and Safety.” An accountability measure is an evidence-based care process closely associated with positive patient outcomes, according to the report.

The report details several areas in which hospitals had significant improvement in 2015 in the percentage of hospitals in compliance, noting that when compliance is strong — say, in the 90th percentile — small improvements are difficult to attain.

Highlighted improvements include:

  • Improvement in substance use care was 19.3 percentage points, with compliance rising to 77.5 percent in 2015 from 58.2 percent in 2014.
  • Stroke care for 2015 climbed to 97.7 percent compliance, an increase of 2.8 percentage points from 94.9 percent in 2011.
  • Venous thromboembolism care compliance climbed 5.3 percentage points to 95.2 percent in 2015 from 89.9 percent in 2011. In addition, three of the four VTE measures were retired.
  • The 2015 inpatient psychiatric services result was 90.3 percent in 2015, up 3 percentage points from 2011.

With the Joint Commission's remaining measures now more focused on those with additional opportunities to improve, overall compliance fell to 93.7 percent in 2015 from 97.2 in 2014. However, the report cautions against comparing the 2014 and 2015 numbers directly because of the dropped measures.