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Tuesday 5:52 CST, September 26, 2017

Joint Commission FAQ Page

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Pioneers in Quality - Submit a Question

What is Pioneers in Quality™?

What is the Pioneers in Quality™ recognition?

What does a hospital have to do to earn Pioneers in Quality™ recognition?

Does Pioneers in Quality™ recognition mean a hospital provides better patient care?

What does it mean if a hospital is not on the 2016 Pioneers in Quality™ list?

What is an electronic clinical quality measure (eCQM)?

How is an eCQM different from how hospitals have been reporting data?

How do hospitals benefit in eCQM adoption through the Pioneers in Quality™ program?

What does my hospital have to do to be named a 2017 Pioneers in Quality™ organization?

Why are there so many changes to the way The Joint Commission collects and reports quality data?

My hospital was a “Top Performer” in previous years. Why isn’t there a “Top Performer” recognition this year?


Pioneers in Quality

Q: What is Pioneers in Quality™?
A:

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.

As such, the Commission created the Pioneers in Quality™ program in conjunction with its Core Measure Solution Exchange® to assist hospitals in their transition to electronic clinical quality measure (eCQM) adoption. The eCQMs represent a new era in health care quality reporting. Since 2002, hospitals have been reporting data to The Joint Commission as a requirement of accreditation. Through eCQMs, hospitals can electronically collect and transmit data on the quality of care that patients receive—data that can be analyzed to measure and improve care processes, performances and outcomes.

In the first year of the Pioneers in Quality™ program, The Joint Commission has recognized select hospitals as Pioneers in Quality™ hospitals for their contributions to the evolution and utilization of eCQMs. For more information, please visit The Joint Commission’s Pioneers in Quality™ portal.

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Q: What is the Pioneers in Quality™ recognition?
A:

The 2016 Pioneers in Quality™ designation recognizes Joint Commission-accredited hospitals at the forefront of a new era in health care quality reporting—in which hospitals collect information through electronic health records on the quality of care that patients receive, and transmit the data to The Joint Commission (as part of its ORYX performance measurement requirements) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Hospitals named to the inaugural class of Pioneers in Quality™ organizations in 2016 are recognized in three categories:

  • Expert Contributor: Hospitals that advanced the evolution and utilization of eCQMs through contributions such as presenting at a Pioneers in Quality™ webinar or participating in eCQM development during 2016.
  • Solution Contributor: Hospitals that submitted an eCQM solution or implementation story to The Joint Commission’s Core Measure Solution Exchange® during 2016.
  • Data Contributor: Hospitals that voluntarily transmitted eCQM data for The Joint Commission’s production database by the 2016 submission date.
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Q: What does a hospital have to do to earn Pioneers in Quality™ recognition?
A:

The hospitals recognized as 2016 Pioneers in Quality™ did not apply for the distinction. Out of more than 3,300 hospitals across the United States, they voluntarily embraced new technology and the opportunity to submit eCQM data about their patient care and share their experience in utilizing eCQMs to help other hospitals, through The Joint Commission’s Core Measure Solution Exchange® and in webinars.

These hospitals’ willingness to share lessons learned in implementing electronic health records or health information technology has earned The Joint Commission’s Pioneers in Quality™ recognition.

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Q: Does Pioneers in Quality™ recognition mean a hospital provides better patient care?
A:

Pioneers in Quality™ recognition does not connote better quality of care or data quality at a hospital. This program recognizes eCQM data transmissions and other contributions that advance eCQM adoption only.

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Q: What does it mean if a hospital is not on the 2016 Pioneers in Quality™ list?
A:

Most hospitals not recognized as a 2016 Pioneers in Quality™ hospital are making strides toward their adoption of eCQMs and new measure reporting requirements. To assist organizations with their transition to electronic reporting, The Joint Commission’s Pioneers in Quality™ program includes ongoing webinars, a web portal and the Core Measure Solution Exchange®, a web-based platform where accredited organizations can share practices and proven tools. Organizations with questions can email PioneersInQuality@jointcommission.org.

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Q: What is an electronic clinical quality measure (eCQM)?
A:

An electronic clinical quality measure (eCQM) is a clinical quality measure in a standard electronic format that uses structured, encoded data present in the electronic health record. For additional information about eCQMs and reporting data as part of The Joint Commission’s performance measure requirements, please see this FAQ document.

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Q: How is an eCQM different from how hospitals have been reporting data?
A:

Historically, hospitals collected clinical process information via chart-based measures. This required staff to review documents and manually abstract information to be calculated for reporting purposes. Through eCQMs, information about how hospitals provide care to patients is entered into the electronic health record by the clinician. The information is then available for electronic extraction for calculation and reporting. It is transmitted to The Joint Commission (as part of its ORYX performance measurement requirements) and to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. 

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Q: How do hospitals benefit in eCQM adoption through the Pioneers in Quality™ program?
A:

The Joint Commission’s first priority is making sure that hospitals understand reporting requirements. Key components of the Pioneers in Quality Program™ include:

  • Regular educational webinars focused on eCQM adoption, as well as continuing education units (CEUs) for live webinar participation
  • A comprehensive eCQM resource portal
  • Recognition for eCQM pioneers
  • A Pioneers in Quality™ Technical Advisory Panel
  • The Joint Commission’s annual report focusing on components of the program and the evolution of eCQM measurement
  • Outreach through The Joint Commission’s Speaker’s Bureau
  • Core Measure Solution Exchange®, a peer-to-peer solution exchange
  • Strong focus on partnering with hospitals to provide the highest level of quality care for patients and their families
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Q: What does my hospital have to do to be named a 2017 Pioneers in Quality™ organization?
A:

To become a 2017 Pioneers in Quality™ organization, a hospital must meet the criteria in at least one of three categories:

  • Expert Contributor: Advance the evolution and utilization of eCQMs through such contributions as presenting at a Pioneers in Quality™ webinar or participating in eCQM development.
  • Solution Contributor: Submit an eCQM solution or implementation story to the Core Measure Solution Exchange®.
  • Data Contributor: Transmit eCQM data into the production database by the submission date.

To volunteer for participation in a webinar or offer assistance in developing and testing eCQMs, organizations can contact The Joint Commission at PioneersInQuality@jointcommission.org. Hospitals can also share implementation experiences by submitting eCQM solutions to the Core Measure Solution Exchange® (CMSE). Additional information is available here about the CMSE and submitting a solution.

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Q: Why are there so many changes to the way The Joint Commission collects and reports quality data?
A:

The Joint Commission and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have aligned their quality measure efforts for many years. In recent years, CMS has made significant changes to performance measures for its Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting Program. These changes included retiring a number of chart-based and electronic clinical quality measures, and introducing new requirements for reporting electronic clinical quality measures (eCQMs). Thus, The Joint Commission has revised its measures to maintain close alignment with the CMS Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting Program.

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Q: My hospital was a “Top Performer” in previous years. Why isn’t there a “Top Performer” recognition this year?
A:

The Joint Commission has implemented performance measurement changes to maintain close alignment with CMS measures that have recently changed. The nature of the changes—introducing new requirements for reporting eCQMs—did not align with criteria for The Joint Commission's Top Performers on Key Quality Measures® program.

The Top Performers program was based on a fixed set of designated chart-based accountability performance measures, which allowed a comparison to determine top performing hospitals. Because many of those chart-based performance measures have been retired, because eCQM data requires additional validation, and because performance rates for eCQMs may not be equivalent to performance rates on chart-based measures, it is very difficult to compare hospitals and thus identify Top Performers on Key Quality Measures®. As such, The Joint Commission placed its Top Performers on Key Quality Measures program on hiatus. The intent is to allow time for the national measurement environment to evolve before the program is reintroduced.
 

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