The Joint Commission

2012 National Patient Safety Goals

The Joint Commission 2012 National Patient Safety Goals set forth clear guidelines for how healthcare organizations can improve the quality of care. As the following table illustrates, MEDITECH's Electronic Health Record (EHR) provides many tools to help organizations increase patient safety and meet The Joint Commission's goals.

The Joint Commission Goal
The Joint Commission Goal Description
Goal #1:
Improve the accuracy of patient identification

Use at least two ways to identify patients. For example, use the patient’s name and date of birth. This is done to make sure that each patient gets the correct medicine and treatment.

Make sure that the correct patient gets the correct blood when they get a blood transfusion.

MEDITECH's EHR ensures positive patient identification. Caregivers can use medical numbers, health insurance numbers, account numbers saved within the MEDITECH system, and swipe technology in conjunction with names and birth dates to identify their patients.

MEDITECH's EHR helps to ensure safe medication administration through the Five Rights of medication management: Right Patient, Right Medication, Right Dosage, Right Route, and Right Time. To ensure that the right patient gets the right medication, MEDITECH's system offers a variety of patient identifiers, including the ability to scan bar codes on patient wristbands and medications to correctly identify the patient and the appropriate medication. Caregivers utilize bar code scanning technology prior to administering medications to confirm patient identity and medication information against data readily available via MEDITECH's on-line Medication Administration Record.

MEDITECH’s Blood Bank and Patient Care and Patient Safety solutions are fully integrated, fostering the sharing of Blood Bank unit and patient data between the two products. All data relevant to transfusions is updated in real time in the Transfusion Administration Record (TAR), a component of our Patient Care System. The TAR, which is accessible to both nurses and Blood Bank personnel, provides an electronic method for documenting patient vital signs and transfusion reactions before, during, and after blood transfusion.  When used in conjunction with MEDITECH's Bedside Verification, staff can use bar code readers to scan and match patients with their blood products to verify the right patient, blood product, and transfusion time, as well as donor blood type compatibility and blood product expiration dates.
Goal #2:
Improve staff communication

Get important test results to the right staff person on time.

MEDITECH provides physician desktops and nursing status boards as a global view of the caregiver's patients and serves as a central point from which to process all aspects of the patient's care. MEDITECH's fully-integrated system facilitates comprehensive, enterprise-wide communication throughout a healthcare organization. MEDITECH's table-driven system can assist in meeting The Joint Commission's list of do not use abbreviations, acronyms, and symbols throughout your organization. Relevant clinical data displays provide real-time patient information that is readily available when managing medication therapies, both at the point of order entry and during medication administration. Whether ordering or administering medications, clinicians have the right information, which provides critical decision support. Capabilities from throughout the MEDITECH EHR are integrated to ensure a coordinated and safe ordering process. Pharmacists, nurses, laboratory and radiology technicians, and the rest of the care team are all included in the physician-initiated process. Physicians can also sign any verbal orders and view results from wherever they may be.
Goal #3:
Use medicines safely

Before a procedure, label medicines that are not labeled. For example, medicines in syringes, cups and basins. Do this in the area where medicines and supplies are set up.

Take extra care with patients who take medicines to thin their blood.

Record and pass along correct information about a patient's medication. Find out what medicines the patient is taking. Compare those medicines to new medicines given to the patient. Make sure the patient knows which medicines to take when they are at home. Tell the patient it is important to bring their up-to-date list of medicines every time they visit a doctor.

MEDITECH supports users in providing the capability of printing labels in supporting applications.  Labels can be printed for each drug dose, the medication carts and for e-MAR scanning.

MEDITECH's Clinical Applications can provide alerts for patients on blood thinning medications.

MEDITECH's Clinical Applications provide customers with the ability to record, edit, and retrieve an Active Medication List and accurately collect home medication information during triage or the admission process, utilizing structured data. The Active Medication List consists of available information for medications prescribed outside of the hospital network or taken over-the-counter as well as a record of prescriptions given upon discharge. During a patient’s visit, any medication orders placed using CPOE or Pharmacy (PHA) will be part of the patient’s active medication list. Medication lists, containing both home and inpatient medications, can be viewed within the Medication Reconciliation routine as well as via the Summary Panel in Open Chart. Full medication information and instructions are provided to the patient at discharge.

Goal #7:
Reduce the risk of healthcare-associated infections

Use the hand cleaning guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the World Health Organization. Set goals for improving hand cleaning. Use the goals to improve hand cleaning.

Use proven guidelines to prevent infections that are difficult to treat.

Use proven guidelines to prevent infection of the blood from central lines.

Use proven guidelines to prevent infection after surgery.

Use proven guidelines to prevent infections of the urinary tract that are caused by catheters.

The infection control functionality of MEDITECH's Laboratory Information System helps providers to effectively and efficiently identify healthcare-associated infections. An organization's infection control group can easily track patient infections by automatically flagging organisms by markers or through other customer-defined screens. Staff has the ability to generate reports based on patient, location, physician, site of the infection and type of organism – whether sensitive or resistant to certain antibiotics. Depending on the outcome of the reports, the infection control group can automatically receive alerts, which will assist them in tracking nosocomial infections. Clinicians can also pull data from throughout the MEDITECH EHR and store it in a secure database for robust reporting and benchmarking by authorized users. Organizations can thereby track and report on a variety of issues such as patient and visitor incidents, adverse drug events, employee health and safety, blood utilization, and infections with complete confidentiality. Staff has the ability to effectively analyze their efforts and devise strategies for improving outcomes and regulatory compliance.
Goal #8:
Accurately and completely reconcile medications across the continuum of care

A process exists for comparing the patient's current medications with those ordered for the patient while under the care of the hospital.

When a patient is referred to or transferred from one hospital to another, the complete and reconciled list of medications is communicated to the next provider of service, and the communication is documented. Alternatively, when a patient leaves the hospital's care to go directly to his or her home, the complete and reconciled list of medications is provided to the patient's known primary care provider, the original referring provider, or a known next provider of service.

When a patient leaves the hospital's care, a completed and reconciled list of the patient's medications is provided directly to the patient and, as needed, the family, and the list is explained to the patient and/or family.

In settings where medications are used minimally, or prescribed for a short duration, modified medication reconciliation processes are performed. Note: This requirement does not apply to hospitals that do not administer medications.

MEDITECH's integrated and dynamic Order Management features provide users with the ability to capture and update medication information from a variety of settings.

Whether at an associated physician practice, or in an ambulatory setting such as a clinic or the emergency department, medications that the patient currently takes at home are captured or updated, creating a profile list of medications for clinicians to view throughout the healthcare enterprise. Any medications written for the patient during the current visit are added to the medication profile. In addition, when the patient is discharged from the facility, medications from the inpatient stay can be converted to outpatient prescriptions. The comprehensive medication profile list can be viewed throughout the enterprise, for patients who are transferring within the organization. Conversely, a list of the patient's active prescriptions can be generated and made available when the patient transfers outside the network.
Goal #9: LTC
Prevent residents from falling

Find out which residents are most likely to fall. For example, is the resident taking any medicines that might make them weak, dizzy or sleepy? Take action to prevent falls for these residents.

MEDITECH's clinical applications offer assessments that can be used to identify any patient that may be at risk, with the additional ability to track and trend those outcomes. In addition, clinicians can document everything from assessments to interventions and medication administrations at the point of care using either fixed or mobile devices.
Goal #14: LTC
Prevent bed sores

Find out which residents are most likely to have bed sores. Take action to prevent bed sores in these patients. From time to time, re-check residents for bed sores.
MEDITECH's Long Term Care System, Patient Care component, offers clinicians the ability to create and electronically document interdisciplinary plans of care required for patient-focused care delivery. Provider orders can even be used to drive the development of care plans. In addition, clinicians can document everything from assessments to interventions and medication administrations at the point of care using either fixed or mobile devices. Annotated images can be used to document details about injuries or wounds. Status boards enable staff to: view pertinent client demographic and clinical data; define event flags; receive real-time notifications of abnormal and critical results; quickly scan due/overdue interventions, orders, and medications; and generate a patient list for group program documentation.
Goal #15:
Identify patient safety risks

Find out which patients are most likely to try to commit suicide.

MEDITECH's clinical applications offer assessments that can be used to identify any patient that may be at risk, with the additional ability to track and trend those outcomes. In addition, clinicians can document everything from assessments to interventions and medication administrations at the point of care using either fixed or mobile devices.
Universal Protocol
Prevent mistakes in surgery

Make sure that the correct surgery is done on the correct patient and at the correct place on the patient’s body.

Mark the correct place on the patient’s body where the surgery is to be done.

Pause before the surgery to make sure that a mistake is not being made.

MEDITECH's Operating Room Management solution offers a customizable nursing documentation tool that can be used by the Operating Room circulating nurse to document the surgical "Time Out" and Surgical Safety Checklist.