The Joint Commission has a list of national patient safety goals were set in place to guide improvements in safety of patients and to help highlight any problem areas within the healthcare systems regarding patient’s safety (The Joint Commission, 2013). The goals created for patient’s safety are listed and described through evidence based solutions in order to assess each goal. The Joint Commission focuses on several topics, all of include an importance in patient safety and their quality of care (The Joint Commission, 2013).
The first goal listed by the Joint Commission (2013) includes improving the accuracy of resident identification. This primary goals focuses on helping to identifying a resident by using two specific identifiers. These identifiers are what help identify patients who are being treated with services and when given care (Joint Commission, 2013). Joint Commission’s safety goals confirm that wrong-resident mistakes can happen all stages of patient diagnosis and treatment. For this reason, it is even more important to be able to get the proper identification to avoid such errors. The first goal in place was specifically set to identify the resident as the person who would be receiving care and to verify the service that the patient would be receiving at the same time. The Joint Commission (2013) allows for a residents name, identification number, and date of birth, telephone number or other person-specific identifiers to be acceptable. The second goal by the Joint Commission is aimed at improving the safety of medications.
This goal was implemented to lower the chances of harming a resident who is being treated with anticoagulant therapy (The Joint Commission, 2012). Taking extra care of patients on medications such as blood thinners is crucial. Recording of information and passing along correct resident information regarding medications is part of this goal (The Joint Commission, 2013). The third goal by the Joint Commission is specific to infection prevention. Specific rules for hand cleaning are in place by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization (The Joint Commission, 2012).
Setting goals for improving hand cleaning is of great importance with infection control (The Joint Commission, 2013). The fourth goal implanted by the commission focuses on prevention of falls by the residents. The goal of The Joint Commission (2013) establishes that health care providers find out which residents are at the highest risk of falling and better prevent any incidents of falls. The final goal regarding safety by the Joint Commission is the prevention of bed sores.
The purpose of this goal is to assess patients who are at a greater risk of getting bed sores and helping take action to reduce them in the future (The Joint Commission, 2012). The Joint Commission safety goal aiming at the prevention of patient falls is a particularly important one. Establishing which patients are at the highest risk helps health care providers better assess and implement safety goals to avoid injury. The Joint Commission (2013) notes that a “falls account for significant portion of injuries in hospitalized patients, long term care residents, and home care recipients. All organizations are instructed to evaluate their residents who are at risk for falls and take action to reduce them. This goal is crucial in the geriatric patient. An evaluation of a patient’s fall history regarding gait and balance screening, use of walking aids or assistive devices, and environmental assessments should better help evaluate a patient’s risk (Rose, 2005). The Fall Prevention Journal of Excellence notes that a successful fall prevention involves three main strategies (Rose, 2012).
Rose (2012) includes strategies such as “balance training and physical activity, medical management, and environmental and home modifications. ” Fall prevention in the geriatric population is becoming increasingly important. According to Micelli (2012), goals such as these are in place to help lower the chances of falls and all serious injury in older adults by first recognizing the risks and the causes of falls in geriatric patients. Micelli (2012) noted that fall risk factors included “intrinsic risks of cognitive, vision, and gait or balance impairment. Micelli (2012) also included “extrinsic risks of assistive devices, inappropriate footwear, restraint, use on non-sturdy furniture or equipment, poor lighting, and uneven or slippery surfaces. ” Falls among the geriatric population cause “orthostatic hypotension, arrhythmia, infection, generalize or focal muscular weakness, syncope, seizure, hypoglycemia, neuropathy, and medication” as noted by Micelli (2012). The recommendations for the prevention of falls should include assessment and nursing care strategies.
Micelli (2012) identifies one recommendations by taking general safety precaution and fall prevention measures by “assessing the patient care environment routinely for extrinsic risk factors and instituting appropriate corrective action. ” This safety goal of patient falls in the geriatric population will continue to impact future nursing practices through evaluation and expectations from both the nurse and patient. Micelli (2012) addresses that nurses will be able to better evaluate patients and know what to expect when it comes to patients safety.
Nurses will expect that patient safety will be maintained, that falls will be avoided and that patients will not develop serious injury outcomes from a fall if it were to occur. Patients will eventually understand the specific risk factors for falls and be further prepared by the nurses who addressed concern (Micelli 2012). Nurses in care will be able to effectively detect and manage older patinets at risk of falls. They will also be able to detect and manage the patients who have had a fall and know how to assess them and further evaluate them.
Micelli (2012) reports that nurses will need to integrate into their practice a comprehensive assessment and management practice in future prevention of falls in the institution they work. “Nurses will gain appreciation for older adults’ experience of falling and how it influences their daily living, functional, physical, and emotional status, Falls among the older adult generation are considered to be an abnormal consequence in the aging process. Micelli (2012) notes that falls are considered to be a geriatric syndrome that are most often the result of multifactorial causes.
The history of falls vary in clinical setting according to Micelli (2012). In settings such as acute care, falls have shown to range anywhere from 2. 3 to 7 for every 1,000 patients every day according to Micelli (2012). The highest incident of falls occur in long term care settings. Falls have ranked as the eight leading known cause of unintentional injury in the older adult population. Knowing how to prevent falls, properly assess patients’ risks and implement a nursing strategy will better help patients avoid falls.