The Joint Commission in Hospitals

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Joint Commission Safety Goals in the Hospital Joint Commission Safety Goals in the Hospital The Joint Commission is an organization that audits, accredits, and certifies health care organizations in the United States. The main purpose of this commission is to ensure the safety of the patients in these facilities and improve health care delivered to the public. To fulfill its purpose, the Joint Commission issues safety goals for the prevention of medical errors in healthcare organizations. Two of the safety goals for hospitals are: identifying patients correctly, and using medications safely (“National Patient,” 2011). An Institute of Medicine report estimates that medical errors cost the nation 17 billion dollars in preventable medical errors each year (“A Guide,” 2011). In addition, these errors rob the medical community of the trust and confidence of its patients. This paper will explore: why the Joint Commission goals are important, examples of problems that have been experienced, potential hindrances to meeting these goals, and strategies to help maintain adherence to these goals. It goes without saying that it is of paramount importance to the safety and well-being of a patient to be correctly identified and to have medications administered safely. There are hundreds of patients in a hospital; and at any given time there may be several with the same last name. It could be easy to confuse these patients and administer the wrong medication, perform the wrong procedure, or write orders on the wrong chart. One example of mistaken identity in a hospital setting was an incident that occurred when two elderly Cantonese speaking female patients were admitted and assigned to the same room. Both had altered mental status, and both had sustained a fall. Admission histories and physicals were dictated and plain films of the hip and pelvis were taken for

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