The Joint Commission’s annual quality and safety report, Improving America’s Hospitals: The Joint Commissions Report on Quality and Safety 2010, finds that accredited hospitals in the United States are providing higher-quality, evidence-based care for heart attack, pneumonia, surgical care, and children’s asthma.

The fifth-annual report shows continual improvement during an 8-year period on what The Joint Commission calls accountability measures—a new designation for measures that meet four criteria (research, proximity, accuracy, and adverse effects) designed to identify measures that produce the greatest positive impact on patient outcomes when hospitals demonstrate improvement.

The report found that the result for pneumonia care improved from 72.4% in 2002 to 92.9% in 2009, while the result for children’s asthma care improved from 70.7% in 2007 to 88.1% in 2009.

According to The Joint Commission, in addition to focusing on accountability measures, the report represents an effort to clearly demonstrate the impact that performance measures have on improving patient outcomes. Specific expectations for performance on accountability measures will be included in hospital accreditation standards by 2012.

Source: Joint Commission Resources