National Patient Safety Goal (NPSG) On Alarm Management Approved By The Joint Commission (TJC)
The Joint Commission (TJC) recently approved a National Patient Safety Goal (NPSG) on clinical alarm safety for hospitals and critical access hospitals, please click here (PDF). HTF is working with a variety of organizations in reviewing and developing educational tools.

The NPSG will go into effect in two phases, the first of which will begin Jan. 1, 2014. At that time, hospitals must establish alarm safety as an organizational priority. They also will be required to identify the most important alarms to manage based on their individual situations. According to the prepublication requirements issued June 25, input from medical staff and clinical departments; the risk posed to patients if a signal is not attended to or malfunctions; whether certain signals contribute to fatigue; the potential for harm based on incident history; and published best practices and guidelines are the elements to help in identifying the most important alarm signals.

The second phase begins Jan. 1, 2016, and will emphasize the implementation of certain policies and procedures, including establishing clinically appropriate settings for alarm signals; determining when alarm signals can be disabled; and deciding when alarm parameters can be changed. Staff education about alarm management also will be a priority during this phase.

As the prepublication requirements note, the NPSG will be updated to reflect new best practices as alarm system management solutions are identified.

Refer to the HTF Clinical Alarms page for guidance to support the NPSG and, more importantly, to reduce alarm hazards.

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