In early 1999, The Joint Commission solicited input from a wide variety of stakeholders (e.g., clinical professionals, health care provider organizations, state hospital associations, health care consumers and convened a Cardiovascular Conditions Clinical Advisory Panel about the potential focus areas for core measures for hospitals. In May 2001, the Joint Commission announced four initial core measurement areas for hospitals, which included acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and heart failure (HF).
Simultaneously, The Joint Commission worked with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on the AMI, and HF sets that were common to both organizations. CMS and the Joint Commission worked to align the measure specifications for use in the 7th Scope of Work and for Joint Commission accredited hospitals. Hospitals began collecting AMI measures for patient discharges beginning July 1, 2002.
In November of 2003, CMS and The Joint Commission began to work to precisely and completely align these common measures so that they are identical. This resulted in the creation of one common set of measure specifications documentation known as the Specifications Manual for National Hospital Inpatient Quality Measures to be used by both organizations. The Manual contains common (i.e., identical) data dictionary, measure information forms, algorithms, etc. The goal is to minimize data collection efforts for these common measures and focus efforts on the use of data to improve the health care delivery process.