The Joint Commission, Oakbrook Terrace, Ill, has issued an update of its [removed]2009 national patient safety goals[/removed] and related requirements for accredited labs, which outline solutions for persistent problems faced by health care organizations.

“By taking action to consistently meet the goals, health care organizations can substantially improve patient safety in America,” said Mark R. Chassin, MD, MPP, MPH, the group’s president.

The goals are:

•    Improve the accuracy of patient identification:

      Use at least two patient identifiers when providing lab services.

      Prior to the start of any invasive procedure, individuals involved in the procedure      conduct a            final-verification process, such as a time out, to confirm the correct patient, procedure, and site,           using active, not passive, communication techniques.
•    Improve the effectiveness of communication among caregivers:

     For verbal or telephone orders or for telephone reporting of critical test results, the individual               giving the order verifies the complete order or test result by having the person receiving the                 information record and read-back the complete order or test result.

     There is a standardized list of abbreviations, acronyms, symbols, and dose   designations that are      not to be used throughout the organization.

     The organization measures, assesses, and, if needed, takes action to improve the   timeliness of          reporting, and the timeliness of receipt of critical tests and critical results and values by the                  responsible licensed caregiver.

     The organization implements a standardized approach to hand off  communications, including an      opportunity to ask and respond to questions.

     Reduce the risk of health care-associated infections.
     Comply with current World Health Organization (WHO) hand-hygiene guidelines or Centers for          Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) hand-hygiene guidelines.

     Manage as sentinel events all identified cases of unanticipated death or major permanent loss of          function related to a health care-associated infection.

     Encourage patients’ active involvement in their own care as a patient-safety strategy.

     Identify the ways in which the patient and his or her family can report concerns about safety and      encourage them to do so.

The goals apply to the more than 15,000 Joint Commission-accredited and -certified health care organizations and programs.

The development, annual review, and modification of the goals, first introduced in 2003, is overseen by the sentinel event advisory group, a panel that includes patient-safety experts, nurses, physicians, pharmacists, risk managers, and other professionals who have hands-on experience in addressing patient-safety issues in hospitals and other health care settings.

The panel works annually with accrediting organization to undertake a systematic review of the literature and available databases to identify potential new goals and requirements.

The Commission conducts a field review of candidate new goals and seeks input from practitioners, provider organizations, purchasers, and consumer groups. Its board of commissioners approves the goals and requirements annually, and compliance with the requirements is a required for its accredited and certified organizations.

The full text of the goals and requirements for accreditation programs is posted on
the group’s [removed]Web site[/removed].