Joint Commission: More hospitals embrace eCQM reporting; physician engagement one of 6 keys to success

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Physician engagement is one of the keys to electronic clinical quality measures reporting, according to The Joint Commission.

The number of hospitals adopting and reporting electronic clinical quality measures (eCQMs) is on the rise, The Joint Commission says. And engaging physicians makes a big difference: At one accredited hospital, 90% of its eCQM data elements are documented by doctors.

In 2016, 470 Joint Commission accredited hospitals voluntarily submitted eCQM data to the accrediting agency, up from 436 hospitals the previous year. Survey data also show that hospitals are more aware of eCQM reporting requirements, and that “most hospitals” plan to report 2017 eCQM data to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services next year, when Meaningful Use electronic reporting requirements kick in.

“The Joint Commission believes that care processes and patient outcomes can be improved and sustained only through the gathering and analysis of performance data and by an organized and comprehensive approach to performance improvement,” CEO Mark Chassin, M.D., and David Baker, M.D., the commission’s executive VP of healthcare quality evaluation, said in a joint statement introducing the organization’s annual report on quality and patient safety.

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The accrediting agency also called out 20 providers for voluntarily leading the way in submitting eCQM data ahead of required reporting in 2018, including BayCare Health System in Clearwater, Florida, Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) in Nashville, Tennessee, and UPMC in Pittsburgh.

David Baker, M.D.

"Hospitals that voluntarily shared information with The Joint Commission over the past year are helping the entire industry move forward by showing others how to utilize electronic clinical quality measures to improve care and ultimately achieve better health and save lives," Baker said in an announcement.

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Through its work with accredited hospitals preparing for eCQM data reporting in 2018, The Joint Commission has identified six primary priorities among those that are successfully implementing eCQM adoption and practice:

  1. Establishing multidisciplinary team structures for eCQM adoption
  2. Repurposing quality abstractors and "growing" clinical informaticists
  3. Providing robust eCQM resources and training to staff
  4. Embracing continuous improvement and iterative development
  5. Incorporating eCQMs in organizational strategy
  6. Engaging physicians