The Joint Commission (TJC) has published seven patient safety goals it says should be prioritized by hospitals in the coming year. As outlined on the TJC website, these goals also inform “sentinel event alerts, standards and survey processes, performance measures, education materials, and Joint Commission Center for Transforming Healthcare projects.”
As summarized by TJC, the 2021 Patient Safety Goals include the following:
- Improve the accuracy of patient identification by confirming at least two pieces of personal health information when caring for and treating a patient;
- Improve staff communication by ensuring test results are relayed to the correct provider on time;
- Ensure safe use of medications through proper labeling, taking extra precautions with patients on blood thinners and accurate record keeping;
- Improve use of alarms by ensuring devices are audible and responded to on time;
- Prevent patient infection by following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization’s hand washing guidelines;
- Identify and address patient risk of suicide; and
- Prevent surgical errors by ensuring the correct procedure is done on the correct place on the body.
A detailed list of the 2021 goals is available on TJC’s website.
In addition, MLMIC offers a number of resources that can help policyholders implement effective patient safety strategies that align with the goals identified by TJC:
- Prescription Medications and Patient Safety, a risk management tip with recommendations on properly prescribing and monitoring the use of medications;
- Research Shows New Assessment Tool May Predict Suicide Risk, a blog post outlining TJC’s National Patient Safety Goal for suicide prevention;
- Improving Infection Control Practices Related to Anesthesia Care in the OR, a blog post with The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America recommendations for improving infection control practices specific to OR anesthesia care;
- Best Practices for Addressing Common Medication Safety Errors, a blog post highlighting the Institute for Safe Medication Practices’ targeted medication safety best practices for hospitals; and
- ECRI Releases Top 10 Health Technology Hazards for 2020, a blog post summarizing ECRI Institute’s “Top 10 Medical Technology Hazards of 2020,” including overload from alarms, alerts and notifications.