The Joint Commission, Oakbrook Terrace, Ill, has set its 2009 National Patient Safety Goals and related requirements for each of its accreditation programs and its disease-specific care-certification program.

Key changes include:

  • Three new infection-related requirements that boost a current goal to cut the risk of health care-associated infections, which have a 1-year phase-in period and should be fully implemented by January 2010.
  • Eliminating transfusion errors related to patient misidentification, and improvements tied to the Universal Protocol, which helps prevent errors in surgical and non-invasive surgical procedures.

The goals, which offer health care organizations solutions for persistent patient-safety problems, apply to the 15,000-plus Joint Commission-accredited and -certified health care organizations and programs.

The review process is overseen by the Sentinel Event advisory group, which includes, nurses, physicians, pharmacists, and risk managers with hands-on experience addressing patient safety issues in hospitals and health care settings. Compliance with the requirements is a condition of continuing accreditation or certification with the Joint Commission.