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 OAKBROOK TERRACE, Ill., Jan. 5 -- Premier Health Alliance, Inc., Westchester, Ill., is the first group of hospitals and systems to become a "Quality Partner" in the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations' Indicator Measurement System (IMSystem).
 The IMSystem, which is expected to become the largest national reference database on hospital clinical performance, is designed to assist hospitals in improving the quality of patient care they provide. As a "Quality Partner," Premier, along with other hospital systems and alliances, will work with the Joint Commission in a partnership to ensure that the IMSystem represents state-of-the-art performance measures that are reliable, valid and relevant to the interests of those who will use this database.
 Premier is a national cooperative owned by 50 leading tertiary not-for-profit hospitals, systm?s and networks. As a "Quality Partner," Premier will work with the Joint Commission to voluntarily enroll its members in the IMSystem. In 1994, the IMSystem will allow participating hospitals to measure and compare their performance using 10 obstetrical and perioperative indicators (performance measures). Additional indicators covering trauma care, oncology care, cardiovascular care, medication use, infection control and other important performance areas will be added in 1995 and 1996.
 "By enrolling in the IMSystem, Premier signals its commitment to its members to assist them in developing data-driven quality improvement systems and to prepare them for meeting the demands of consumers, purchasers and government for reliable health care quality information," says Dennis S. O'Leary, M.D., president, Joint Commission. "We're confident that the IMSystem will be a valuable resource to Premier members in achieving these goals."
 "Enrolling in the IMSystem early gives our hospitals an important head start," says Alan Weinstein, president, Premier. "It enables them to compare their results to those of other providers and address areas that need improvement long before the system becomes an integral part of the accreditation process. It also permits Premier hospitals to respond to patients and purchasers who are already requesting performance data."
 The IMSystem focuses on patient outcomes -- the results of hospital care -- and other direct measures of hospital performance. It is designed to complement the standards -- expectations for quality performance -- upon which the Joint Commission has traditionally based its accreditation decisions.
 Designed to measure only what is important and useful for improving performance, the IMSystem requires minimal data collection and uses data already being collected by hospitals for other purposes whenever possible. Information is gathered quarterly and entered into a national database. Follow-up feedback reports enable participating hospitals to compare their performance with that of other hospitals across the country.
 When the IMSystem becomes an integral part of the accreditation process, which is expected to occur in 1996 or 1997, reports containing hospital-specific indicator information, along with comparative national data, will be available to the public.
 The IMSystem is one of several initiatives undertaken by the Joint Commission as part of its Agenda for Change, an effort launched in 1987 to revise its accreditation process to place primary emphasis on actual performance.
 The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, a private, not-for-profit organization, evaluates and accredits more than 5,300 hospitals and 3,000 other health care organizations that provide home care, mental health care, ambulatory care and long term care services. Founded in 1951, it is the nation's oldest and largest health care standards-setting and accrediting body.
 Premier is owned by 50 leading, tertiary care hospitals, systems and networks located in 42 major cities. As a group, Premier owners provide $9.5 billion in health care services and train 5,655 residents each year. Premier's membership also includes more than 130 affiliated community and specialty hospitals nationwide. Premier provides programs and services to help its members reduce their costs, improve quality and maintain the health of their communities.
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 /CONTACT: Stephen L. Davidow of Joint Commission, 708-916-5635, or Susan Nalepa of Premier Health Alliance, 708-409-4113/

CO: Premier Health Alliance, Inc.; Joint Commission on Accreditation on
 Healthcare Organizations ST: Illinois IN: HEA SU:

MP -- NY024 -- 9273 01/05/94 10:41 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 5, 1994

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