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The Joint Commission National Patient Safety Goals 2016 for Clinical Laboratories

The Joint Commission is an independent agency that accredits health care organizations and programs. Since 2001, the Joint Commission has published Patient Safety Goals with the intent of reducing medical/health care errors by focusing on patient safety issues.

The Joint Commission National Patient Safety Goals, effective January 1, 2016, that apply to clinical laboratories are listed in the table below.

Patient Safety Goal
Methods to Meet Goals
Improve the accuracy of patient identification.
Using at least two patient identifiers when providing laboratory services.
Improve the effectiveness of communication among caregivers.
Report critical results of tests and diagnostic procedures on a timely basis to the right person.
Reduce the risk of health care-associated infections.
Comply with either the current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) hand hygiene guidelines or the current World Health Organization (WHO) hand hygiene guidelines. Set goals for improving hand hygiene procedures.

These are not new goals for the laboratory to follow. Patient identification procedures and communication of laboratory test results were included in the first list of goals in 2003. Reducing health care-associated infections has been a goal since 2004.

The Joint Commission National Patient Safety Goals. Accessed November 10, 2015.