Check out the 2005 National Patient Safety Goals

Accreditation Connection, July 16, 2004

The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organization's (JCAHO) Board of Commissioners has approved new National Patient Safety Goals for 2005, a JCAHO source tells HCPro.

New for 2005 are requirements for reducing the risk of patient falls and reconciling medications.

Missing from the new goals is a bar coding requirement and a proposal designed to reduce the risk of surgical fires. They will not be a goals for 2005, according to a list of the goals that American Hospital Association (AHA) published well ahead of the JCAHO on Thursday.

Also absent from the 2005 roster is Goal #4, regarding wrong-site surgery. It is now required by the JCAHO's Universal Protocol. Goal #6, regarding alarm systems, is also gone and has been incorporated into the standards.

These are the 2005 goals, according to AHA:

Goal #1a: The JCAHO clarifies that organizations must use at least two patient identifiers not only when administering medications, blood products, and taking blood samples and other specimens, but also for any other treatments or procedures.

Goal #2c: This new requirement for reporting critical test results and lab values calls for organizations to measure, assess, and take action to improve the timeliness of reporting these results to the appropriate licensed caregiver.

Goal #3c: Regarding this new requirement to improve the safety of medication use, the JCAHO will expect organizations to identify, and at a minimum, annually review a list of look-alike/sound-alike drugs and to take action to prevent errors involving the interchange of these drugs.

Goal #8a and b: This requires hospitals to accurately and completely reconcile medications across the care continuum.

#8a: The JCAHO will fully implement by January 2006 this requirement to develop a process for involving the patient upon admission in obtaining and documenting a complete list of his or her current medications. This process includes comparing the medications that the organization provides with those on the list.

#8b: This requires organizations to communicate the patient's complete list of medications to the next provider of service whenever referring or transferring the patient to another setting, service, practitioner, or level within or outside the organization.

Goal #9a: This requires organizations to reduce the risk of patient harm from falls by assessing and periodically reassessing each patient's risk for falling.

These goals remain unchanged

Goal #2a: The person who receives an order verbally or by telephone, or who receives a critical test result by telephone, should do a complete "read-back" of that information."

#2b: Standardize a list of abbreviations, acronyms and symbols that are not to be used throughout the organization.

Goal #3a: Remove concentrated electrolytes (such as potassium chloride and potassium phosphate) from patient care units.

#3b:  Standardize and limit the number of drug concentrations available in the organization.

Goal #5a: Ensure free-flow protection on all general-use and patient-controlled analgesia intravenous (PCA) infusion pumps used in the organization.

Goal #7a: Comply with current CDC hand-hygiene guidelines

#7b: Manage as sentinel events all identified cases of unanticipated death or major permanent loss of function associated with a healthcare-associated infection.

The JCAHO will likely put the new goals into effect on January 1, 2005. Surveyors will expect organizations in January to have "addressed" the goals, and will expect organizations that are surveyed in February and beyond to have complied with them since January 1, 2005, according to the JCAHO source.

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