Leaders at more than 600 Joint Commission-accredited hospitals representing independent and health system organizations across the country have successfully transitioned to The Joint Commission’s new direct data submission platform for reporting calendar year (CY) 2017 electronic clinical quality measure (eCQM) data in 2018, agency officials reveal.

The hospitals that have transitioned to the new platform have reported the new technology has streamlined their process for ORYX performance measurement reporting, as well as reduced the time and resources required. In addition, hospitals and systems are reporting realized or projected annual savings of $20,000 to $50,000 compared to their traditional process of contracting with a data vendor—with the technological capacity to manage the data—to submit to The Joint Commission on their behalf.

Later this year, The Joint Commission will invite all Joint Commission-accredited hospitals with CY 2018 ORYX eCQM reporting requirements to transition to direct data submission through its new platform, developed in conjunction with Apervita, a leading health insights company.

Historically, most hospitals manually abstracted data from patient charts to compile and submit their quality measures for patient care. Over the last several years, a number of hospitals began transitioning to eCQMs that rely on structured, encoded data present in the electronic health record. Meanwhile, The Joint Commission worked to identify the technology and a process to receive that eCQM data directly from hospitals without the need for a third-party vendor.

After The Joint Commission selected Apervita last fall to develop its Platform-as-a-Service for direct eCQM data submission, a technical advisory panel of hospital-based leaders and technical experts participated in development and testing prior to this spring’s implementation, with the first wave of participating hospitals submitting data for CY 2017.

“The Joint Commission’s goal is to enable all accredited hospitals to directly submit eCQM data to reduce reporting burden and expense, and empower them with valid data for measurement and analysis in ongoing healthcare quality improvement,” says David W. Baker, MD, MPH, FACP, executive vice president, Division of Health Care Quality Evaluation, The Joint Commission. “This ultimately advances healthcare quality and patient safety through innovative, practical systems for healthcare data measurement that guide quality improvement.”

The Joint Commission will continue accepting hospitals’ chart-based data submitted through ORYX® vendors through 2019, but encourages transition to the direct data submission platform for the CY 2018 eCQM reporting period.