Friday, January 26, 2007

Joint Commission to visit any time now

For the past several months the Backus Hospital's weekly employee newsletter has published a “Focus on Safety” series to raise awareness about patient safety.

Although patient safety should be at the forefront of everyone’s mind year round, now is the time to raise issues and ask questions – the Joint Commission is scheduled to show up unannounced at any time beginning now.

In preparation for the Joint Commission visit, the hospital will undergo a “mock survey” Feb. 6-8.

As a refresher, here are the 2007 Joint Commission Patient Safety Goals:

• Improve the accuracy of patient identification
• Improve the effectiveness of communication among caregivers.
• Improve the safety of using medications.
• Reduce the risk of health care-associated infections.
• Accurately and completely reconcile medications across the continuum of care.
• This includes providing a complete list of the patient’s medications and communicating to the next provider of service when a patient is referred or transferred to another setting, service, practitioner or level of care within or outside the organization. The complete list of medications is also provided to the patient on discharge from the facility.
• Reduce the risk of patient harm resulting from falls.
• Encourage patients’ active involvement in their own care as a patient safety strategy. Define and communicate the means for patients and their families to report concerns about safety and encourage them to do so.
• The organization identifies safety risks inherent in its patient population, including identifying patients at risk for suicide. [Applicable to psychiatric hospitals and patients being treated for emotional or behavioral disorders in general hospitals).

For more information go to

Anyone with any questions about the National Patient Safety Goals, or suggestions to improve patient safety at Backus, is asked to call or email Mary Bylone, Assistant Vice President, Patient Care Services and Patient Safety Officer, ext. 2771, or Joe Hughes, Director of Quality Improvement, at ext. 2345.


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