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3 AF medical facilities named among nation's best

FALLS CHURCH, Va. (AFNS) -- Three Air Force Medical Service military treatment facilities, or MTFs, earned top accreditation honors recently by The Joint Commission, the leading accreditor of health care organizations in America, for exemplary performance and were named among the nation's Top Performers on Key Quality Measures.

The MTFs awarded these honors were the 96th Medical Group, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.; 48th Medical Group, RAF Lakenheath, England; and the 81st Medical Group, Keesler Air Force Base, Miss.

The Joint Commission recognized these Air Force MTFs for their outstanding performance in using evidence-based clinical processes that are shown to improve care for certain conditions, including heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, surgical care, children's asthma, stroke and venous thromboembolism, as well as inpatient psychiatric services.

"The Air Force Medical Service is committed to achieving our four critical goals of readiness, better care, better health and best value to ensure the delivery of top quality patient-centered care for our military family," said Brig. Gen. Sean Murphy, Air Force Medical Operations Agency commander. "We are proud to have facilities named on The Joint Commission list and strive to see other exceptional Air Force MTFs earn this elite recognition in the future."

The three medical groups are among 620 hospitals in the U.S. earning the distinction of Top Performer on Key Quality Measures for attaining and sustaining excellence in accountability measure performance.

The ratings are based on an aggregation of accountability measure data reported to The Joint Commission during Calendar Year 2012. The list of top performers increased by 50 percent from its debut last year and represents 33 percent of the accredited hospitals reporting data. Each of the hospitals on the list received a score of 95 percent, which means the hospital provided an evidence-based practice 95 times out of 100 opportunities to provide the practice. Each accountability measure represents an evidence-based practice - for example, giving aspirin at arrival for heart attack patients, giving antibiotics one hour before surgery when indicated, and providing a home management plan for children with asthma.

MTFs at Langley Air Force Base, Va.; Nellis Air Force Base, Nev.; and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio; also had scores close to the 95-percent Top Performer level.

"When we raise the bar and provide the proper guidance and tools, hospitals have responded with excellent results," says Dr. Mark R. Chassin, president, The Joint Commission. "This capacity for continual improvement points toward a future in which quality and safety defects are dramatically reduced and high reliability is sought and achieved with regularity. Such day-to-day progress will slowly but surely transform today's health care system into one that achieves unprecedented performance outcomes for the benefit of the patients."

In addition to being included in the release of The Joint Commission's Improving America's Hospitals annual report, each medical group will be recognized on The Joint Commission's Quality Check website (www.qualitycheck.org). The Top Performer program will be featured in the November issue of The Joint Commission Perspectives and the October issue of The Joint Commission: The Source.

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