There are a large number of professional organizations specific to healthcare. One such organization The Joint Commission, is a non-profit independent organization that certifies and accredits over 19,000 healthcare organizations in the United States. [Their mission statement is] “to continuously improve health care for the public, in collaboration with other stakeholders, by evaluating health care organizations and inspiring them to excel in providing safe and effective care of the highest quality and value” (The Joint Commission, 2011). The National Patient Safety Goals were implemented 2002. The goals later became effective January 1, 2003 to address specific areas of concern in regards to patient safety. Upon implementation, these goals have been effective in reducing the number of medication errors, improving communication between healthcare providers, and reducing hospital-acquired infections in patients.
Thousands of individuals are admitted each year and require medication in the hospital
setting. With the increasing number of admissions due to disease and illness affecting today’s
society leads to the likelihood of nurses committing medication errors. Over the years errors
resulting from medication have been the leading cause of injury in hospitalized patients. Forty
six percent of these medication errors occurred at the time of admission, time of discharge or
while transferring patients between units. [After reviewing these events], “The Joint Commission identified “Improve the Safety of Using Medications” as one of the 2009 National Patient Safety Goals (Cleveland Clinic, 2009, p.1). In relation to this safety goal, hospitals created a medication reconciliation form that resides in the patient’s chart. The reconciliation of medications begins with the patient’s admission to the hospital. The nurse obtains all current medications including medications over the counter and those prescribed by a physician and the list is documented on the form. Medication reconciliation forms are validated for accuracy and included in the hand off communication report. [Another benefit of reconciling medications is it]
“Allows the provider the opportunity to review the patient’s previously administered medication therapy while formulating the inpatient plan of care and medication regimen
The goal is to ensure medications are ordered in the correct dose, route, and frequency,
while also distinguishing any omissions, duplications, interactions, and name, dose or
route confusions (Johnson, 2011, p. 15).
As a result, a study conducted by The Joint Commission revealed a drastic decrease from forty
four medication errors in 2010 to twenty eight medication errors in 2011. Also included within
the goal of medication safety is reducing the risk of harm to the patient with the use of
anticoagulants. “Hospitals are required to have a standard concentration of all forms of
anticoagulants, oral unit dose products,...