Joint Commission- National Patient Safety Goals

Topics: Hospital, Hospital accreditation, Patient Pages: 7 (1443 words) Published: September 1, 2014
Joint Commission- National Patient Safety Goals
Kathy Linkous
University of West Florida
Joint Commission- National Patient Safety Goals
The Joint Commission focuses on certain goals each year. For patient safety and positive outcomes, hospitals are required to follow certain standards. National Patient Safety Goals were established in 2002 to help identify areas of concern with patient safety. This group is made up by a panel of experts including nurses, doctors, pharmacists and many other healthcare professionals. They advise the Joint Commission on how to address these different patient safety issues. Two goals to be discussed are improving the accuracy of patient identification and medication safety. To improve patient identification use at least two patient identifiers. Joint Commission is also focusing on ways to make sure patient gets the correct blood for blood transfusions. Medication safety is focusing on communication, recording and passing along correct information about the patient’s medication before, during and after the hospital admission. ("The joint commission," 2014) Joint Commission made patient identification number one on patient safety goals for 2014 because of how important it is to have the correct identity of every patient. Over the years there have been many areas of patient misidentification. Some near misses and some fatal. Misidentification can happen anywhere in a hospital setting and can include wrong drug administration, misidentification of blood or blood transfusion and wrong patients for surgical interventions. This is way it is so important that all departments in an organization use the same method for patient identification. Patient identification has been a problem for several reasons. One is communication, we assume way too much as a whole. Instead of communicating with the patient we assume it’s the right patient and continue with treatment, only later to find it was the wrong person. Another reason is time. As nurses we are always rushing around and short of time. With so many task to do in such as short amount of time the pressure is on. We rush and can cause some serious, possibly fatal errors. Joint Commission made patient identification number one on the National Patient Safety Goals by having at least two patient identifiers for every intervention done to a patient decreasing the likelihood of having an error (World Health Organization, 2007). There are still some barriers or obstacles to overcome on getting everyone on board with using two identifiers for patient identification. Change is difficult for some people and getting them to realize that the way they used to do things may not be the best and safest practice anymore. So, behavioral change can be difficult but with good strong positive leadership even the most stubborn person eventually will comply with change. At the hospital I work at we have been using two patient identifiers, name and date of birth, for at least four years. I think it has helped saved many near misses that I have personally been involved with and I am an advocate for making sure patients have ID bands on. I also try to educate patients and families on the reasons why staff are always asking for their name and date of birth. Another system that has been implemented is computerized charting system. This is becoming more prevalent in hospital around the United States. This system helps ensure patient identification as well. For example, the patients information is inputted into the computer with all their information, such as name, date of birth, lab values, allergies, medications, x-rays and many other items as well. All this information is linked to their medical record number and stays in the database and any time the patient returns you have their medical record right in front of you. As long as all the information is put in correctly at time of admission all the information on the patient is provided....

References: The joint commission. (2014, January 03). Retrieved from
World Health Organization. (2007). Patient identification. Patient Safety Solutions, 1(2), Retrieved from
Radley, D., Wasserman, M., Olsho, L., Shoemaker, S., Spranca, M., & Bradshaw, B. (2013). Reduction in medications errors in hospitals due to adoption of computerized provider order entry systems. 10(1136), Retrieved from
Finkelman, A., & Kenner, C. (2013). Professional nursing concepts: competencies for quality leadership. (2nd ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bart Learning.
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