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The Joint Commission National Patient Safety Goals

Updated: Sep 30, 2021

Did you know the benchmark to measure the quality of care starts with you! Let’s head right into a super quick review of the 2021 National Patient Safety Goals to improve patient care performance instantly. This review will ensure your patients receive the best-value healthcare across all patient settings regardless of if you are a new medical student or experienced healthcare provider. Feel free to take the 1-minute Test your Knowledge quiz at the end of the article. Let's do this!

The mission of the Joint Commission is to continuously improve health care for the public, in collaboration with the stakeholders, by evaluating healthcare organizations and inspiring them to excel in providing safe, effective care of the highest-quality. Magnet Recognition is a prestigious award developed by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) in recognition of health care organizations that provide nursing excellence.

1. Identify Patients Correctly

Use at least two identifiers when interacting with a patient. For Example, use the patient’s name & date of birth.

2. Improve Staff Communication

Who do you need to communicate a critical value or lab result to? Get important events, change in level of consciousness (LOC) info, test results to the right staff member on time.

3. Use Medicines Safely

Before a procedure, label all medications that are not labeled, including medicines in syringes, cups, and basins. Fully complete a medication review to bring the medications list up-to-date.

Do not bypass scanning each medication using the Bar Code Medication Administration (BCMA) Technology. Shoot for 100% BCMA rates!
What R Medication Errors?

Medication errors are any preventable event that may cause or lead to inappropriate medication use or patient harm while the medication is in the control of the health care professional, patient, or consumer.

4. Use Safety Alarms

Ensure all intended alarms and alerts on medical equipment are responded to in a timely manner.

5. Prevent Infection

Use the cleaning guidelines from the CDC to improve hand cleaning.

As of January1,2021 the CDC Mandates

To prevent the spread of germs during the COVID-19 pandemic, you should wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

6. Identify Patient Safety Risks

Perform a thorough Suicide Ideation Evaluation on Admission, Change of Patient Status or prn. According to the CDC, suicide is the third-leading cause of death among individuals ages 15 to 24, the second for ages 25 to 34, and the 10th-leading overall cause of death in the United States.

7. Prevent Mistakes in Surgery

Have a time out procedure! Make sure the 3 C’s are compliant-correct surgery, correct patient & correct place on the patient’s body. Standardized audits are required to monitor and ensure checklist compliance.


All nurses and healthcare workers in general must ensure they provide safe and competent care as a Dedication to their Professional Obligation to Do-No-Harm.




Davis, C., Shuss, S., & Lockhart, L. (2014). Assessing Suicide Risk. Nursing made Incredibly Easy!, 22-29.

JACHO. (2021, January 1). Hospital: 2021 National Patient Safety Goals. Retrieved from The Joint Commission:

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