Sparks Regional Medical Center Earns Recognition as "Top Performer"

FORT SMITH and VAN BUREN, ARKANSAS (September 19, 2012) – Both Sparks Regional Medical Center and Summit Medical Center today were named among the nation’s Top Performers on Key Quality Measures by The Joint Commission, the leading accreditor of health care organizations in America. The Joint Commission began this ratings program as a means for publicly highlighting top performing hospitals that have achieved exemplary 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.

Sparks and Summit are two of 620 hospitals in the U.S. earning the distinction of Top Performer on Key Quality Measures by meeting or exceeding target rates of performance in the last year. Sparks Regional Medical Center was recognized for its achievement in heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia and surgical care. Summit Medical Center was recognized for its achievement in pneumonia care.

This is the second year in a row that Summit Medical Center is being recognized as a Top Performer in its quality processes to treat pneumonia. Summit Medical Center is one of only 244 hospitals that achieved the distinction two years in a row.

Sparks and Summit are two of 41 hospitals operated by Health Management Associates, Inc. to be named to the Top Performer list. Summit is also one of 30 Health Management hospitals to be a Top Performer in both years of this recognition program.

Each of the hospitals that was named as a Top Performer on Key Quality Measures met two 95 percent performance thresholds on 2011 accountability measure data. First, each hospital achieved performance of 95 percent or above on a single, composite score that includes all the accountability measures for which it reports data to The Joint Commission, including measures that had fewer than 30 eligible cases or patients. Second, each hospital met or exceeded 95 percent performance on every accountability measure for which it reports data to The Joint Commission, excluding any measures with fewer than 30 eligible cases or patients. A 95 percent score means a 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, and providing a home management plan for children with asthma.

“When we raise the bar and provide the proper guidance and tools, hospitals have responded with excellent results,” says Mark R. Chassin, MD, FACP, MPP, MPH, president, The Joint Commission.

“We understand that what matters most to patients at Sparks and Summit is safe, effective care. That’s why we have made a commitment to accreditation and to positive patient outcomes through evidence-based care processes. It is all part of our commitment to always strive to put patients first. Sparks and Summit are proud to be named to the list of The Joint Commission’s Top Performers on Key Quality Measures,” says Melody Trimble, CEO.

In addition to being included in today’s release of The Joint Commission’s “Improving America’s Hospitals” annual report, Sparks and Summit will be recognized on The Joint Commission’s Quality Check website ( 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.