Launched in September 2011, The Joint Commission’s Top Performer on Key Quality Measures®* program recognizes accredited hospitals that attain excellence on accountability measure performance. The program is based on data reported about evidence-based care processes for certain conditions. The recognition occurs in the fall of each year and coincides with the publication of The Joint Commission’s annual report, America’s Hospital’s: Improving Quality and Safety. The Top Performer on Key Quality Measures program is:
- Unique from other recognition programs in that it is based on objective data. This enables each hospital to track its measure performance and predict whether it will be a Top Performer.
- An incentive for all hospitals to improve and be the best they can be through attaining high rates of performance on all the accountability measures for which a hospital reports data.
- Consistent with the current themes of the pay-for-performance trends being enacted by federal and state governments and many private payers.
- A way to provide transparency to the public in the reporting of performance at the hospitals where they receive care.
Top Performer program on hiatus for reevaluation
Beginning in 2016, The Joint Commission’s Top Performer program took a hiatus to reevaluate the program to better fit the evolving national performance measure environment. New quality improvement challenges have resulted from the retirement of a number of chart-based measures and the transition to reporting electronic clinical quality measures (eCQMs). The Top Performer program utilized the results of a fixed set of designated accountability chart-based performance measures to compare performance and determine Top Performer hospitals. The retirement of many accountability measures, the need for additional validation of eCQM data, and the fact that performance rates for eCQMs may not be equivalent to those for chart-based measures, now make it difficult to compare hospitals and identify Top Performer hospitals. The hiatus of the Top Performers on Key Quality Measures program, in its current form, will provide time for the national measurement environment to evolve before The Joint Commission reintroduces a revitalized Top Performers program.
To support hospitals in making the transition to eCQM reporting, in 2016, The Joint Commission introduced the Pioneers in Quality™ program. This program continues to support Top Performers, as well as those hospitals moving toward becoming a Top Performer. During the hiatus, hospitals will continue to collect and submit data. The Joint Commission remains committed to measures that meet our accountability criteria, which greatly increase the likelihood that patient outcomes will improve if hospitals achieve increased performance on the measures we include in the Top Performer program.
Read more about the Top Performer on Key Quality Measures® program
*Being named a Top Performer by The Joint Commission does not ensure that any specific patient in such a named hospital will have any particular medical outcome. Nor is Top Performer status a reflection of the overall care at an organization. Top Performer recognition is based on hospital performance on measures specific to performance measurement during a specific period of time in certain patient care areas, but not all the patient care areas provided by acute care hospitals.