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Joint Commission releases its 2009 National Patient Safety Goals

The Joint Commission has released its 2009 National Patient Safety Goals for each of its accreditation programs.  The Goals are meant to help health care organizations use proven approaches to reducing ongoing failures in patient safety.  Separate, but overlapping goals have been issued for nine different health care settings:  ambulatory care, behavioral health care, critical access hospitals; disease-specific care; home care; hospitals; laboratories; long-term care; and, office-based surgery. 

New in 2009 are there hospital requirements for preventing lethal health care-associated infections from multiple drug-resistant organisms (MDROs), central line-associated bloodstream infections and surgical site infections.  These build on prior Goals in an effort to combat the increasing rate at which patients today are acquiring preventable infections in hospitals.  The new requirements for central line-associated bloodstream infections also apply to ambulatory care and office-based surgery, home care and long-term care.  Prevention of surgical site infections will be a new requirement for ambulatory care facilities and office-based surgery practices.  Health care organizations have a one-year phase-in period that includes defined milestones, with full implementation expected by January 1, 2010.

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