The Joint Commission announces new National Patient Safety Goals
June 27, 2007
Healthcare organizations will face one new National Patient Safety Goal (NPSG) in 2008 that requires clinicians to respond rapidly to changes in a patient's condition and one new requirement on anticoagulant therapy, according to the July The Joint Commission Perspectives and a press release by the accreditor.
Unlike previous years, however, the requirements will be phased in throughout 2008, with full implementation required by January 2009.
The new goal and requirements are as follows, according the Perspectives article:
Goal 16 and Requirement 16A: Boost response time when a patient's condition is worsening. This goal requires hospitals to pick an effective method that allows healthcare workers to ask for assistance from specially trained clinicians when a patient's condition appears to be deteriorating. It applies to critical access hospitals and hospitals.
The timeline expectations for the new requirements are:
1. Healthcare organization leaders assign responsibility for development, testing and implementation by April 1, 2008.
2. A plan is developed by July 1, 2008 to identify resources, responsibilities and timeline for full implementation by January 1, 2009.
3. Pilot testing begins in at least one clinical unit by October 1, 2008.
4. The process is fully implemented by January 1, 2009.
In addition to the new requirements, The Joint Commission retired requirement 3B, which addresses limiting and standardizing drug concentrations, for all programs.
The accrediting agency also modified guidelines on requirement 7A for all programs to allow the use of World Health Organization guidelines on hand hygiene as an alternative to ones advocated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
It also added Goal 2C, reporting critical test results, for organizations providing long-term care. The goal is already a requirement for acute-care hospitals.