In another example of transparency in healthcare, in January, The Joint Commission posted on its website the results of HCAHPS patient satisfaction surveys, as well as mortality rates for heart attack, pneumonia, and other conditions at hospitals around the country. Results from Intermountain Healthcare hospitals are included.

As a group, Intermountain hospitals tend to be somewhat above the national average in patient satisfaction, though results vary by facility.

Called "Quality Report: Survey of Patients' Hospital Experiences," the patient satisfaction data posted on The Joint Commission site are based on the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey, an ongoing survey of hospital patients, the results of which are reported by hospitals to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (HCAHPS has its own website, www.hospitalcompare.hhs.gov).

Community members and others may ask you what results like these mean and how your local hospital performed. Here is some background information about The Joint Commission and why Intermountain and other healthcare organizations participate in its work:

What is The Joint Commission?

 The Joint Commission is an independent, not-for-profit organization that evaluates and accredits 15,000 healthcare organizations in the United States, including Intermountain Healthcare. It is the predominant standards-setting and accrediting body for American hospitals.

As part of its rigorous accreditation process, The Joint Commission evaluates more than 1,000 scored items at each member facility. Its focus is on improving an organization's ability to provide safe, high quality care and setting performance expectations for those activities. At each facility, leadership is expected to continuously assess and monitor adherence to patient safety goals and all the processes of care.

Additional benefits of Joint Commission Accreditation include:

  • Strengthening community confidence in the quality and safety of care, treatment, and services.
  • Education on good practices to improve business operations.
  • Professional advice and counsel, enhancing staff education.
  • Standards, performance improvement tools, and an external evaluation of performance.

To learn more: Visit a website offered by The Joint Commission, called Quality Check®, online at www.qualitycheck.org. There, you'll find a report providing detailed information about our organization's performance and how it compares to similar organizations; compliance with The National Patient Safety Goals; and, for hospitals, performance on National Quality Improvement Goals. This information is now open to the public, and trustees may be asked about it. Find out more about how your facility ranked; search by organization, zip code, or state.

For more information about The Joint Commission, visit www.jointcommission.org.

What Intermountain trustees can do. Many of The Joint Commission standards address the contributions of boards, leadership, and medical staffs to ensure patient care is safe and meeting — or, ideally, exceeding — community and national standards. Survey results and other outcome measures offer a snapshot of performance, and our hospitals are always working to improve. Intermountain invites you to learn more about regulatory and accreditation standards and processes to ensure that your facility is ready for a regulatory or accreditation survey.

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