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2008 National Patient Safety Goals

The Joint Commission recently announced the 2008 National Patient Safety Goals and related Requirements for each of its accreditation programs and its Disease-Specific Care Certification Program. You can view the full text of the 2008 goals and requirements on The Joint Commission website at www.jointcommission.org.

Major changes include a new requirement (#3E) to take specific actions to reduce the risks of patient harm associated with the use of anticoagulant therapy, and a new goal and requirement (#16A) that address the recognition of, and response to, unexpected deterioration in a patient's condition. Full implementation of these two new requirements is targeted for January 2009.

In addition, the requirement that addresses hand hygiene has been expanded to permit use of the World Health Organization (WHO) Hand Hygiene Guidelines as an alternative to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) hand hygiene guidelines.

The goals and requirements apply to the nearly 15,000 Joint Commission-accredited and certified health care organizations and programs. Compliance with the requirements is a condition of continuing accreditation or certification.