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Announced in June, The Joint Commission's 2008 National Patient Safety Goals include a requirement to take specific actions to reduce the risk of patient harm associated with anticoagulant therapy. This new requirement is part of the goal to improve the safety of drug administration.

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Another change aims to provide prompt treatment when a patient's condition suddenly deteriorates. Facilities are expected to set up procedures that allow caregivers to directly request and get immediate assistance from an appropriate clinician when a patient's condition worsens.


Each new requirement has a 1-year phase-in period with defined milestones. The Joint Commission expects full implementation by January 2009.


The goals and related requirements apply to all health care facilities and programs that seek accreditation from The Joint Commission.


To review all the patient-safety goals, visit The Joint Commission's Web site at http://www.jointcommission.org.