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Nursing Excellence

The Online Newsletter for Children's Nurses
e-Edition, Volume 1, Issue 1

2009 National Patient Safety Goals

Simran Kaur, MPH
Patient Safety Project Manager

As we enter 2009, Children’s Hospital is implementing The Joint Commission’s new National Patient Safety Goals. Each year, the Sentinel Event Advisory Group (a panel that includes professionals who have hands-on experience addressing patient safety issues in hospitals) works in collaboration with The Joint Commission to review and develop patient safety goals which address ongoing opportunities for improvement within hospitals and other healthcare settings. These improvements lead to improved quality of patient care. 

Nursing Excellence IconMajor changes seen with the announcement of the 2009 National Patient Safety Goals include a focus on preventing deadly healthcare-associated infections due to multiple drug-resistant organisms (MDROs), central line-associated bloodstream infections and surgical site infections. These new goals build on National Patient Safety Goal 7, which aims to reduce the risk of healthcare-associated infections and recognize that patients continue to acquire preventable infections within hospitals.

Additional changes you’ll notice are the medication reconciliation goal which has, in effect, been modified creating four National Patient Safety Goals focused on medication reconciliation and associated new documentation requirements. A new requirement is aimed at eliminating transfusion errors related to patient misidentification. There are also changes to the existing universal protocol, addressing the topics of procedure verification, marking the procedure site, and conducting a “time out” immediately prior to starting procedures. 

Finally, The Joint Commission is focusing on patient and family involvement in care. Over the past few years we have seen elements of this important initiative appear in the National Patient Safety Goals (and we predict we will see more of this in coming years). Following this trend, The Joint Commission has incorporated several “Elements of Performance” into existing goals which require hospitals to engage patients in their care regarding infection control, prevention of surgical adverse events, and the patient identification process. 

With the exception of the new infection-related requirements (07.01.01, 07.02.01, and 07.03.01) which have a one-year phase-in period with an implementation date of January 1, 2010 – all other 2009 changes went into effect January 1. One final change to note, you will see a new numbering system being utilized with the 2009 National Patient Safety Goals.

To be consistent with national requirements, our organization will adopt these changes immediately. Over the next few months you will be hearing more about these new National Patient Safety Goals. For a full list of the new goals and for further information about the Patient Safety Program, please refer to the Patient Safety Website on George, Children’s Intranet.

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