Hospital care better for heart disease, pneumonia

A new analysis by The Joint Commission has concluded that hospitals have significantly improved the care they deliver for heart attacks, heart failure and pneumonia over the past few years. The report, which looked at how hospitals cared for these conditions between 2002 and 2005, found that hospitals steadily improved their performance in following guidelines for these conditions during this period. For example, it found that in 2005, ninety-six percent of heart attack patients got aspirin when they arrived at the hospital, a 3.6 percent improvement over 2002. Perhaps the biggest improvement came for pneumonia patients, who were advised on how to stop smoking 80 percent of the time in 2005, up from 37.2 percent of the time in 2002. On the down side, 40 percent of heart failure patients left the hospital in 2005 without getting follow-up instructions, but this was still a 28 percent improvement over 2002.

To get more information on the study:
- read this piece from the Associated Press
check out the Joint Commission report