New Jersey hospitals improved care to heart attack and pneumonia patients in 2004, surpassing national averages and statewide performance in 2003, according to the state's second annual hospital performance report card. Scores also increased for each of eight specific measures of care. The top 10% of hospitals scored at least 98% for administering the correct heart attack treatments compared with 97% in 2003, while the top 10% of hospitals scored at least 92% for administering the correct pneumonia treatments compared with 84% in the prior year. Most hospitals improved on or maintained their 2003 performance. Hospitals ranking in the bottom quarter in 2003 showed the greatest improvement, raising the heart attack score on average 9 percentage points and the pneumonia score 13 percentage points. The report card examined how frequently 82 hospitals in the state employed recognized best practices to treat more than 61,000 patients with heart attack and pneumonia. In a related matter, the Rutgers Center for State Health Policy and the New Jersey Hospital Association announced a joint effort to further improve quality of care for patients with heart failure at selected hospitals. View an online version of the performance report. -- by Cinda Becker
N.J. hospitals improve heart attack, pneumonia care
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