News Briefs

JCPP trying to turn vision 2015 into reality

The Joint Commission of Pharmacy Practitioners (JCPP) has approved an implementation plan for achieving its 2015 Vision for Pharmacy Practice. The commission said it expects its members to collectively pursue the vision in a robust manner. JCPP said it has begun the process for funding and implementing organizational changes needed to implement the vision.

Historically, the JCPP has served only as a forum where the volunteer leaders and CEOs of each of the nation's major pharmacy practitioner organizations meet face-to-face four times a year to discuss major items of mutual interest.

Over the past few years, the group has held planning discussions focused on patients' healthcare needs and pharmacists' role in meeting those needs. Out of that process came the vision for pharmacy practice in 2015. The vision states, "Pharmacists will be the healthcare professionals responsible for providing patient care that ensures optimal medical therapy outcomes."

Achievement of this vision requires enhanced coordination and collaboration among the profession's practitioner organizations, JCPP said, and a commitment to focus and collaborate efforts toward implementation of pharmacist-provided patient focus care activities. Changes in JCPP's operational structure are expected to occur over the next several years.

Current JCPP members include: Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy; American College of Apothecaries, American College of Clinical Pharmacy, American Pharmacists Association, American Society of Consultant Pharmacists, American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, and National Community Pharmacists Association. Liaison members are American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, Accreditation Counsel for Pharmacy Education; National association of Boards of Pharmacy; and National Council of State Pharmacy Associate Executives.

Joint Commission sets 2008 patient safety goals

Reducing risk of anticoagulant therapy added

Major changes in the Joint Commission 2008 National Patient Safety Goals include a new requirement to take specific actions to reduce the risks of patient harm associated with use of anticoagulant therapy and a new goal and requirement that address recognition of, and response to, unexpected deterioration in a patient's condition.

The new anticoagulant therapy requirement addresses a widely acknowledged patient safety problem and becomes a key element of the Goal to improve the safety of using medications, the Joint Commission said. It is applicable to hospitals, critical access hospitals, ambulatory care and office-based surgery settings, and home care and long-term care organizations.

The new goal and requirement on the deteriorating patient asks hospitals and critical access hospitals to select a suitable method for enabling caregivers to directly request and obtain assistance from a specially-trained individual if and when a patient's condition worsens. Full implementation of these provisions is targeted for January 2009, after a one-year phase-in.

Finally, the Joint Commission said, the requirement to limit and standardize drug concentrations that is part of the Goal to improve the safety of using medications will be retired as a National Patient Safety Goal, but organizational compliance will continue to be evaluated as part of the Medication Management standards.

A full text of the 2008 Goals and Requirements is available online at the Joint Commission web site at http://www.jointcommission.org.