JCAHO chief touts pay for performance

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Dec. 20, 2004

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Stating that "the world goes to the tenacious," Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations President Dennis O'Leary, MD, opened JCAHO's "Decisions That Count" national conference on quality and patient safety, held Dec 1-3 in Chicago, by stating that the health care community needs to create a culture of staff retention, encourage reporting of errors, engage patients and their communities, invest in education and training and work to get patient safety legislation passed.

Dr. O'Leary also noted his support for pay-for-performance systems, and said reforming Medicare reimbursements will set the pace for quality improvement.

"When we pay the same for good care as we do lousy care, it sends a message," he said. "We need to pay the people who are doing well and invest in the people who are doing not as well."

Dr. O'Leary also reminded attendees what is the most important. "Don't lose sight of the patient," he said.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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