Joint Commission Seeks Input on Potential National Patient Safety Goals

OAKBROOK TERRACE, Ill. -- The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) released for review a list of draft goals and requirements, from which 2006 National Patient Safety Goals will be chosen. The National Patient Safety Goals, which are updated annually, are designed to require healthcare organizations to protect patients from the negative impact of specific healthcare errors.  The draft goals include requiring organizations to achieve and maintain an organization-wide culture of safety, encourage patients' active involvement in their own care, and prevent patient harm associated with health care worker fatigue.

Other possible setting-specific goals include:


- preventing healthcare associated decubitus ulcers

- reducing the risk of harm associated with emotional and behavioral crisis

- reducing the risk of harm from abuse or exploitation in the healthcare organization

- ensure the safety of assisted living facility residents with dementia and other mental health disorders


The full text of the potential goals on the list are posted on the Joint Commission website, and has been distributed for comment to healthcare professionals, providers, consumers and other stakeholders.  The deadline for feedback is Friday, February 25, 2005.


The list of potential goals has been developed by an expert panel of well-known patient safety experts, as well as nurses, physicians, risk managers, pharmacists, and other professionals who have hands-on experience in addressing patient safety issues in healthcare settings.  Each year, this Sentinel Event Advisory Group reviews the current Goals and requirements and makes specific recommendations for any changes. 


The field review offers the opportunity for others to share their judgment about the relevance, priority, clarity, ability to measure compliance, time needed to implement and cost of implementation of each potential goal and requirement under consideration.  In addition, the Joint Commission is asking for comment on expanding the applicability of existing goals to additional programs.


Source: JCAHO