The Joint Commission Says Hospitals Should Prioritize Seven Patient Safety Goals in 2021

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: