News Brief

2005 National Patient Safety Goals are final

The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations’ 2005 National Patient Safety Goals that will apply specifically to hospitals have been finalized — but many eager quality managers didn’t wait for this news to take action.

"When the draft 2005 goals were published, our hospital began to work on many of them," says Jann Robinson, RN, MA, CPHQ, patient safety officer at Good Samaritan Hospital in Puyallup, WA.

"Because of our work on the draft goals, we are a step ahead for the final goals. We felt a sense of urgency and that we needed all the time we could get to comply on Jan. 1, 2005," she notes.

Robinson says the organization viewed the draft 2005 goals as best practice and doesn’t consider its efforts wasted, even in light of changes in the finalized goals.

"We still continue to encourage nurses to take a second nurse to the IV pump even though it was dropped off the list," she says.

Two new goals focus on reconciling medications across the continuum of care and reducing the risk of patient falls.

Here are things that Good Samaritan is doing to comply with the 2005 goals:

The patient safety committee started a performance improvement project on falls reduction. "We are beginning by identifying all barriers to falls reduction in our facility and exploring multidisciplinary and creative interventions to prevent falls and injuries from falls," Robinson says.

The medication subcommittee began working on look-alike/sound-alike and high-risk medications; and revised policies and staff education are under way. This committee also is preparing a performance improvement project on reconciliation of patients’ medications across the care continuum.

"We continue to disseminate information on all the National Patient Safety Goals through hanging posters that ask questions about the goals with the answers on the back, our Patient Safety Tips publication, and incorporating them into our mock tracer surveys," Robinson adds.

[For more information on the 2005 National Patient Safety Goals, contact:

Jann Robinson, RN, MA, CPHQ, Patient Safety Officer, Good Samaritan Hospital, 407 14th Ave. S.E., Puyallup, WA 98371-0192. Phone: (253) 848-6661, ext. 1962. E-mail: jannrobinson@goodsam]