National Patient Safety Goals.
The National Patient Safety Goals (NPSGs) are one of the major methods by which The Joint Commission establishes standards for ensuring patient safety in all health care settings. In order to ensure health care facilities focus on preventing major sources of patient harm, The Joint Commission regularly revises the NPSGs based on their impact, cost, and effectiveness. Major focus areas include promoting surgical safety and preventing hospital-acquired infections, medication errors, and specific clinical harms such as falls and pressure ulcers. The 2019 NPSGs include two significant revisions. Hospitals and behavioral health facilities now must maintain specific protocols to prevent inpatient suicide, including conducting environmental risk assessments, screening patients admitted for behavioral health reasons for suicide risk, and implementing tailored suicide prevention plans for high-risk patients. The NPSG on ensuring the safety of anticoagulant medications has also been updated to incorporate new evidence in this area.