Experts Credit Public Reporting

Nine of the 10 quality measures showing the fastest improvement nationwide are ones that are publicly reported by CMS. That’s a key conclusion of the 10th annual National Healthcare Quality Report, released in May by the U.S. Agency for Health Research & Quality (AHRQ). Eight of these quality measures involve public reporting by hospitals—antibiotics given before and discontinued after surgery, pneumonia patients receiving pneumococcal and influenza screening/vaccination, proper treatment and discharge instructions for heart failure patients and timely intervention for heart attack patients. One of the nine addresses long-term care—pneumococcal vaccination among long-stay nursing home residents.

As for the 10 quality measures for which performance is worsening at the fastest rate nationwide, AHRQ finds that three address diabetes management, two relate to maternal and child health and two measures involve the frequency of adverse events in hospitals. Authors find that “urgent attention” is required to address: (1) quality of diabetes care, maternal/child health and adverse events, (2) cancer care disparities, and (3) quality of care among Southern states. For a copy of the report, visit the AHRQ website at www.ahrq.gov.