JCAHO board approves new policy on data mining

The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations said its board approved a policy under which the JCAHO would continue data mining “to measure and encourage quality improvement” but would no longer sell analyses of the data to third parties.

The board, which met this weekend, also affirmed the JCAHO’s “need to secure access to patient-level performance data” for accreditation-related work, a news release said.

The American Hospital Association has raised several issues regarding the request for patient-level data, and the Joint Commission said it would work with the AHA to resolve the issues. The new policy comes after the AHA and several other hospital organizations reacted with outrage to a contract by a JCAHO subsidiary to provide hospital-specific performance reports to several Blues plans. AHA spokesman Richard Wade said the JCAHO had “addressed the main issue about the sale of the data and that’s the beginning of the process of working on a data policy every one can support.”

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