Thursday, July 21, 2005

If You Measure It, They Will Improve...


"Study: Hospitals better under monitoring"

Hospitals put under the microscope by new industry monitoring are doing a better job of treating three potentially deadly conditions, with the worst hospitals improving the most, researchers found.

Meanwhile, a second study found disparities in the quality of hospital care around the country, with hospitals in the Northeast and Midwest, not-for-profit hospitals and teaching institutions doing slightly better than the rest.

From July 2002 through June 2004, the hospitals improved as much as 33 percent on 18 indicators of quality care, though some went up just 3 percent, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations found.

Those indicators include urging patients to quit smoking; giving heart attack victims aspirin and clot-busting drugs quickly; promptly prescribing antibiotics to people with pneumonia; and checking how well the heart's main pumping chamber was working in heart-failure patients.

Overall, the death rate for heart attack patients in the hospital dipped from 9 percent to 8 percent over the two years.


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