Hospitals will get an extra six months before they have to begin collecting data for the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations' new outcomes measurement system.
The JCAHO said last week that it's delaying its schedule for implementing its Oryx core measures program so hospitals will not be expected to begin tracking data until July 1, 2002. A JCAHO committee made up of state hospital association representatives had pushed for the delay.
"(The committee members) were very concerned about readiness as it relates to the measurement systems and the individual healthcare organizations," said Jerod Loeb, the JCAHO's vice president of research and performance improvement. Loeb said that facilities needed extra time to budget for the expenses related to acquiring the needed computer systems and staff for Oryx. The annual cost to contract with a JCAHO-approved performance measurement system vendor is about $10,000, plus the commitment of one full-time employee.
Hospitals will have from November 2001 to June 2002 to select from among the four initial core measurement sets: acute myocardial infarction, heart failure, pregnancy and pneumonia. Most hospitals will be required to select two sets. Each set includes anywhere from three to eight measures, such as tracking the number of patients with atrial fibrillation for whom the blood thinning drug warfarin was prescribed at discharge.
Data collection by hospitals is scheduled to begin in July 2002. The JCAHO plans to receive its first core measure data, for the July-September 2002 quarter, in January 2003.