TJC Issues 2023 Patient Safety Objectives for HOPDs, ASCs, Office Procedures

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The four pillars of The Joint Commission’s (TJC) National Patient Safety Goals for ambulatory health care and office-based surgery for this year are the same: Identify patients correctly, use medicines safely, prevent infection and prevent mistakes in surgery.

National Patient Safety Awareness Week, observed from March 12-18, is a good time to review TJC’s updated chapters on ambulatory health care and office-based surgery program. TJC, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, the Center for Patient Safety and other groups across the country use the week to assist healthcare facilities by educating them on how to reduce medical errors.

Here's a streamlined version of what is contained in the chapters:

To ensure you’ve confirmed the patient’s identity, use at least two methods of identification. “For example, use the patient’s name and date of birth,” states a TJC release. “This is done to make sure that each patient gets the correct medicine and treatment.”

Regarding the medicines themselves, the TJC says to label any medications that are not labeled in syringes cups or basins before they are taken to the beside. “Do this in the area where medicines and supplies are set up,” advises the TJC.

Extra care should be taken with patients on blood thinners – and all medications patients are on should be recorded and passed along to colleagues involved in the next step of care. “Find out what medicines the patient is taking. Compare those medicines to new medicines given to the patient. Give the patient written information about the medicines they need to take. Tell the patient it is important to bring their up-to-date list of medicines every time they visit a doctor,” says the TJC release.

One of the best ways to prevent infections is to use hand hygiene guidelines from the CDC or the WHO.

To prevent wrong-site or wrong-procedure surgery, TJC advises to mark the site of the surgery beforehand and engage in a robust timeout just before the incision is made to confirm the correct procedure is being performed on the correct patient on the correct side of their body. An additional timeout can be added before anesthesia is administered to involve the patient in the confirmation process. OSM

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