The Dayton VA Medical Center and Miami Valley Hospital on Wednesday were named top performers by The Joint Commission - an independent nonprofit that accredits and certifies more than 18,000 U.S. health care organizations and programs.

The Dayton VA Medical Center and Miami Valley Hospital on Wednesday were named top performers by The Joint Commission — an independent nonprofit that accredits and certifies more than 18,000 U.S. health care organizations and programs.

The hospitals were among 1,099 hospitals nationwide — including 37 in Ohio — named top performers based on the quality of services they provided last year for certain conditions, including heart attack, pneumonia and surgical care, according to The Joint Commission.

The top performers list increased by 77 percent from last year and represents 33 percent of all hospitals accredited by The Joint Commission.

To be included on the list a hospital must achieve a cumulative performance of 95 percent or above across all reported accountability measures, and all individual accountability measures must have a rate of 95 percent or better.

A 95 percent score means a hospital provided a service 95 times out of 100 opportunities to provide the service, such as giving aspirin at arrival for heart attack patients or giving antibiotics one hour before surgery.

“I can’t express enough the pride I have in our organization and the commitment that they made to achieving this distinguished award from The Joint Commission,” said Glenn Costie, director and chief executive at the Dayton VA. “Healthcare is a real team sport, and there were many, many staff working together very effectively to get this award. We’re just proud to be able to offer such high quality care to our veterans.”

The Dayton VA came under fire in 2011 after revelations hundreds of veterans were put at risk by alleged poor infection control practices. But those accusations centered primarily on one dentist in the hospitals dental clinic.

Dayton-based Premier Health placed three of the hospitals in its network on the top performer list, which, in addition to Miami Valley, included Atrium Medical Center in Middletown and Upper Valley Medical Center in Troy.

“We’re obviously proud of all the hard work that all of our hospitals do…and we take these ratings very seriously,” said Dr. Tammy Lundstrom, chief medical officer at Premier. “We’re always looking for opportunities to improve the care we provide for our patients.”

Kettering Health Network, a system of eight hospitals in the Dayton and Cincinnati areas, was not included among the top performers, but only because they seek accreditation through the Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program, or HFAP, not The Joint Commission.

Like The Joint Commission, HFAP is authorized by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to survey all hospitals for compliance with the Medicare conditions of participation and coverage.

“All of our hospitals are accredited, they’re just accredited by HFAP,” said Elizabeth Long, a Kettering spokeswoman.

Most hospitals not recognized as top performers are still accredited by the Commission and are performing “reasonably well,” said Dr. Mark Chassin, The Joint Commission’s president and chief executive officer, who said the top performance measures were intended to be difficult to push hospitals to focus on quality improvement.

“All the top performer hospitals have demonstrated an exceptional commitment to quality improvement and they should be proud of their achievement,” Chassin said. “We have much to celebrate this year. Nearly half of our accredited hospitals have attained or nearly attained the top performer distinction. This truly shows that we are approaching a tipping point in hospital quality performance that will directly contribute to better health outcomes for patients.”

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©2013 the Dayton Daily News (Dayton, Ohio)

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