National Patient Safety Goals

The Joint Commission formulated the National Patient Safety Goals as standards to help improve the safety of patients by focusing on problems in healthcare safety and initiatives in place for solving them. These goals are broken into 5 categories: Ambulatory Health Care, Behavioral Health Care, Critical Access Hospital, Home Care and Hospital. They should be a part of any healthcare organization’s safety protocols. The hospital goals are the most comprehensive, with the others overlapping with criteria.

The National Patient Safety Goals for 2015

Hospital

  • Identify patients correctly

Use two ways to identify patients – use name and date of birth to ensure the right medicines are dispensed.

This also makes sure the right patient receives the correct blood during a blood transfusion.

  • Improve staff communication Getting critical test results to the right staff person on time.
  • Use medicines safely

Labeling all medicines prior to performing a procedure in the area where medicine and supplies are located.

Take extra care with patients who take medicines to thin their blood

Record and pass along the correct information about a patient medicines. Find out what medicine the patient is taking and compare it to new medicines given. Make sure the patient is aware of what medicines to take when they are at home and to bring their current medicine list to the doctor every visit.

  • Use alarms safely

Ensure alarms on medical equipment are heard and responded to on time.

  • Prevent infection

Use the hand cleaning guides from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the World Health Organization. There should be clear goals set for hand cleaning and washing.

Use proven guidelines to prevent infections that are difficult to treat.

Use proven guidelines to prevent infection of the blood from central lines.

Use proven guidelines to prevent infection after surgery.

Use proven guidelines to prevent infections of the urinary tract that are cause by catheters.

  • Identify patient safety risks

Find out which patients are likely to attempt suicide.

  • Prevent mistakes in surgery

Make sure the correct surgery is done on the correct patient and at the correct location on the patient’s body.

Mark the correct place on the patient’s body where the surgery should be performed.

Pause before the surgery to make sure a mistake is not being made.

Ambulatory Health Care

  • Identifying patients correctly
  • Use medicines safely
  • Prevent infection
  • Prevent mistakes in surgery

Behavioral Health Care

  • Identify individuals served correctly
  • Use medicines safely
  • Prevent infection
  • Identify individuals served safety risks

Critical Access Hospital

  • Identify patients correctly
  • Improve staff communication
  • Use medicines safely
  • Use alarms safely
  • Prevent infection
  • Prevent mistakes in surgery

Home Care

  • Identify patients correctly
  • Use medicines safely
  • Prevent infection
  • Prevent patients from falling

Find out which patients are most likely to fall. Take action to prevent falls.

  • Identify patient safety risks

Find out if there are any risks for patients who receive oxygen.

Use these goals within your organization to ensure you and your staff are following national protocol safety standards for patient care.