Patient Mortality During Unannounced Accreditation Surveys at US Hospitals


http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/article-abstract/2610103

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Key Points

Question  What is the effect of heightened vigilance during unannounced hospital accreditation surveys on the quality and safety of inpatient care?

Findings  In an observational analysis of 1984 unannounced hospital surveys by The Joint Commission, patients admitted during the week of a survey had significantly lower 30-day mortality than did patients admitted in the 3 weeks before or after the survey. This change was particularly pronounced among major teaching hospitals; no change in secondary safety outcomes was observed.

Meaning  Changes in practice occurring during periods of surveyor observation may meaningfully improve quality of care.

Conclusions and Relevance  Patients admitted to hospitals during TJC survey weeks have significantly lower mortality than during nonsurvey weeks, particularly in major teaching hospitals. These results suggest that changes in practice occurring during periods of surveyor observation may meaningfully affect patient mortality.

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