Bloomberg Businessweek, September 24, 2010

There have been major improvements in the quality of care provided by U.S. hospitals, according to an annual report released this week by the national organization that accredits hospitals and other health-care organizations and programs.

The Joint Commission's analysis of data from more than 3,000 accredited hospitals found continual improvement over eight years on evidence-based measures of care for heart attack, pneumonia, surgical care and children's asthma care.

For example, the heart attack care result improved from 88.6 percent in 2002 to 97.7 percent in 2009. A 97.7 percent score means that hospitals provided evidence-based heart attack treatment such as aspirin at arrival and beta-blockers at discharge 977 times out of 1,000.

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