Hospitals sought to test psychiatric care initiatives

Filed under: Health Care |

The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations has launched an initiative to test and implement a set of core performance measures for hospital-based inpatient psychiatric services.

The five candidate measures address the following quality-related dimensions of in-patient psychiatric care:

  • Assessment of potential risks, previous trauma, co-existence of substance abuse and patient strengths
  • Restraint use
  • Seclusion use
  • Patient discharge on multiple antipsychotic medications
  • Provision of discharge assessment and aftercare recommendations to responsible community health providers upon discharge.

Psychiatric hospitals are being sought to voluntarily test the measures for a one-year period beginning Jan. 1. More than 550 psychiatric hospitals accredited by the commission are eligible to participate. Organizations will be able to substitute the reporting of test measure data for current performance reporting requirements. Test data from individual hospitals will not be publicly reported.

“There is significant interest among psychiatric hospitals in standardized measures such as these which will permit performance comparisons and benchmarking,” said Jerod M. Loeb, executive vice president of the commission’s research division. “Participation in the testing process will allow psychiatric hospitals to begin gaining experience with the measures and play a part in shaping the final measure set.”

The commission will use the testing to make refinements to the measures. The association anticipates that the finalized set of measures will become available to psychiatric hospitals in the fall of 2008 to meet commission performance requirements.

The hospital-based, inpatient psychiatric services measure set was developed in collaboration with the National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems, the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors and the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors Research Institute. Input also was provided by the American Psychiatric Association and by 24 organizations that represent parties at interest.

Psychiatric hospitals wishing to participate in the testing should contact Frank Zibrat at (630) 792-5992 or

Peak Vista seeks volunteers

Do you like babies? Would you like to make a difference in the lives of a child and his parents? First Visitor, a program of Peak Vista Community Health Centers, will be training volunteers Sept. 12 to perform home visits to families with newborns.

The program provides parents with gifts and materials about baby care, development and local resources. If you are interested, call 228-6639.

Peak Vista Community Health Centers has offered First Visitor since 2003 to promote the healthy growth and development of children during the first three years of life. Open to any family in El Paso or Teller counties at no cost, the program has served more than 6,000 families.

Peak Vista annually offers primary medical care and dental services to more than 46,000 residents of the Pikes Peak region. To learn more about First Visitor, visit

Colorado Health and Hospital Assoc. names president

Steven J. Summer has been selected as the Colorado Health and Hospital association’s president and CEO.

Summer is currently president and CEO of the West Virginia Hosptial Association. He will become CHA’s president Sept. 1.

Summer has been president of WVHA since 1993. Before moving to West Virginia he was senior vice president of the Maryland Hospital Association.

Summer has an MBA in health care administration from George Washington University and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Northeastern University. He is a diplomat of the American College of Healthcare Executives, and is an adjunct faculty member of the West Virginia University and a senior associate at The Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health.

Tenn. hospitals measure financial performance

Hospitals in rural Tennessee have added technology that enables executives to gauge how well they are handling the business side of their organizations, measuring their financial performance against their peers and larger, more urban hospitals around the country.

The Tennessee Hospital Association saw the value their members might derive from comparing financial benchmarks. It contracted with Tennessee-based consulting firm LBMC eHealth Solutions and eTransX to provide a Web-based tool to 29 rural hospitals.

Integration is under way at six of the 29 participating hospitals. Meanwhile all 29 hospitals have been afforded a clearer financial picture through the online dashboard.

“This service allows our members to interpret that information in a fraction of the time it would take to analyze the paper records,” said Craig A. Becker, president of the Tennessee Hospital Association.

Amy Gillentine covers health care for the Colorado Springs Business Journal.