The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations set its same annual patient-safety goals for 2006 but asked hospitals to take three additional steps to reach them. The JCAHO will require hospitals to implement and evaluate the effectiveness of a program to reduce patient falls, one of the overarching goals. To the mandatory steps for improving caregiver communications, another goal, the JCAHO added implementation of a standardized approach to "handing off" patients between caregivers, including giving caregivers the opportunity to ask and answer questions. And to improve medication safety, the JCAHO said hospitals should label all medications and medication containers, such as syringes and solutions, in procedure areas. Read the 2006 goals. -- by Joseph Conn
JCAHO issues 2006 patient-safety requirements
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