Nearly 1,300 hospitals have signed on to a voluntary, nationwide plan to report quality performance on 10 key measures for three serious ailments, a patient safety coalition says.
The American Hospital Association, the Federation of American Hospitals and the Association of American Medical Colleges are sponsoring the effort, called The Quality Initiative: A Public Resource on Hospital Performance.
However, the influx of hospitals willing to participate will delay initial publication of performance data until September, according to the three national organizations.
The Quality Initiative is asking hospitals to report compliance with 10 specific quality measures for acute myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure and pneumonia. The hospitals will make their data available on a CMS Web site.
CMS, the HHS Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, the National Quality Forum, the AFL-CIO and the AARP are supporting the effort.
Quality Initiative organizers said Friday that 1,294 hospitals had pledged to participate as of last Tuesday, including every acute care general hospital in Connecticut, Maryland and Rhode Island. Hospital associations in 28 states and the District of Columbia have formally asked their members to report data.
The data, at least initially, is directed primarily at healthcare professionals rather than the public, the sponsoring groups say. "We're focusing on the first step, public disclosure," says Steve Campanini, spokesperson for Tenet Healthcare Corp., Santa Barbara, Calif., which owns 114 hospital in 16 states.
All but three Tenet facilities will report for the Quality Initiative; two do not have emergency departments, and one is closing, Campanini says.
Once the CMS Web site is up this fall, users will be able to search for hospitals by state, county, city or ZIP code to view voluntary performance reports.
Suzanne Delbanco, executive director of the Leapfrog Group, a Washington-based organization of large healthcare purchasers, calls the Quality Initiative announcement "encouraging news" but says the choice of performance measures will make it "difficult for consumers to participate."
The Leapfrog Group is not participating in the AHA-FAH-AAMC project, but Delbanco says the organization is in favor of "all kinds of public disclosure of healthcare quality."