A newly appointed advisory council will begin laying the groundwork later this summer for selecting performance measurement systems to be used by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.
The 19-member Council on Performance Measurement is charged with Accreditation
identifying criteria against which performance measurement systems are to be evaluated. In response to invitations from the JCAHO in February, developers of more than 60 such systems submitted detailed information about their products.
Examples of evaluation criteria likely to be considered include relevance to a significant number of organizations, scope of care covered, quality of measures and data, approach to adjusting data for demographic factors and severity of illness, and ease of access to the system data by the JCAHO.
The council then will determine which performance measurement systems meet the criteria and should be included in the JCAHO accreditation process. The commission's own IMSystem will undergo the evaluation along with the other entrants, a spokeswoman said.
Earlier this year the JCAHO scrapped its plans for a strictly in-house development of performance measures, instead issuing invitations to 430 organizations soliciting their involvement in a partnership.
Until then, the commission had planned to test and implement 30 measures for its IMSystem and make participation mandatory as early as 1997.
Growing opposition in the healthcare industry to the mandatory use of the IMSystem became a grievance on the list compiled by the American Hospital Association in its campaign to change some JCAHO practices and policies (Jan. 2, p. 20).
Under the new approach, the JCAHO said each accredited organization will be able to choose the qualified measurement system that best fits its needs.
The JCAHO said it will focus initially on measurement systems to support the evaluation of hospitals, integrated delivery systems and networks, but the recommendations of the advisory council eventually will include systems for the seven JCAHO accreditation programs.