Improving safety is always a top priority for hospitals and their employees – especially in the era of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and considerable federal reimbursement hanging in the balance. In 2002, The Joint Commission established its National Patient Safety Goals (NPSGs) program to recommend ways to improve patient safety. The NPSGs were established to help accredited organizations address specific areas of patient safety concern and focus on solutions to health care safety problems. The first set of NPSG guidelines were officially introduced January 1, 2003.
A panel of patient safety experts—composed of nurses, physicians, pharmacists, risk managers, clinical engineers, and other professionals who have hands-on experience with patient safety issues in a variety of health care settings—helped develop the NPSGs.
The Patient Safety Advisory Group panel worked with Joint Commission staff to identify emerging patient safety issues, and advise on how to address those issues in NPSGs, sentinel event alerts, standards and survey processes, performance measures, educational materials, and Center for Transforming Healthcare projects.
After getting input from additional practitioners, provider organizations, purchasers, consumer groups and other stakeholders, The Joint Commission determined the highest priority patient safety issues and how best to address them. Below are the seven key recommendations of the NPSG.
For 2016, no new National Patient Safety Goals have been added. However, elements of performance of NPSG.06.01.01, which deals with alarm safety, (3. establish policies and procedures for managing the alarms identified and 4. educate staff and licensed independent practitioners about alarm systems) were made effective as of January 1, 2016 for the hospital and critical access hospital accreditation programs.
According to an article in the May 2016 issue of Nursing 2016, research has shown that from 72% to 99% of clinical alarms are false, which can contribute to alarm fatigue. Alarm fatigue, sensory overload caused by exposure to an excessive number of alarms, can result in desensitization or missed alarms.
The 2016 NPSG requirements aim to mitigate risks and focus on proper alarm management and staff education on the appropriate use and purpose of the alarms. Click here to read the entire outline of the Joint Commission's NPSG.
Is your facility concerned with maintaining compliance with federal regulations and guidelines? Click HERE to learn more about the online e-courses in Lippincott Professional Development Collection that we developed in partnership with Joint Commission Resources (JCR) that will help promote Patient Safety and Compliance and support Disease-Specific Care Certification in Heart Failure and Stroke.