National Patient Safety Goals 2010

2010 National Patient Safety Goals


Safety of our patients/staff is paramount to the success of our organizations mission. The Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations publishes annual lists detailing “National Patient Safety Goals” to be implemented by healthcare organizations. Goals are developed by experts in patient safety nurses, physicians, pharmacists, risk managers, and other professionals with patient-safety experience in a variety of settings. Patient safety is among the most important goals of every healthcare provider, and participation in a variety of committees and processes concerned with patient safety provides a way for biomedical managers and clinical engineering departments to gain visibility and positively affect their workplace.

Bed rails Entrapment[]

A systematic review showed how environmental hazards can contribute to patient safety incidents such as patient falls. For instance, the use of bedrails can contribute to patient falls by contributing to entrapment injuries.

Anesthesia Surgical Fires[]

Surgical fires are fires that occur in, on or around a patient who is undergoing a medical or surgical procedure. An estimated 550 to 650 surgical fires occur in the United States per year, some causing serious injury, disfigurement, and even death. Despite the fact that the root causes of surgical fires are well-understood, surgical fires still occur. Many healthcare organizations have developed tools, implemented strategies, and conducted education and outreach efforts to reduce the risk of fires. To supplement these efforts, FDA and its partners launched the “Preventing Surgical Fires” initiative to:

  • increase awareness of factors that contribute to surgical fires
  • disseminate surgical fire prevention tools
  • promote the adoption of risk reduction practices throughout the healthcare community

Clinical Alarm Management[]

On February 2002,2 the Joint Commission (JCAHO) began scoring Patient Safety Goal 6 — Improve the effectiveness of clinical alarm systems. The goal covered both technical and care management areas. Goal 6 was dropped as a hospital Patient Safety Goal in 2004. [1] This goal still remains in effect today until it is corrected or device is removed from the medical facility.

Infusion Pump Free Flow Protection[]

On August 23, 2002, one of the U.S. National Patient Safety Goals promulgated by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) is to "improve the safety of using infusion pumps" by ensuring that pumps are protected against free-flow. In this Guidance Article, we provide ECRI's updated guidance for achieving this goal. Free-flow refers to the uncontrolled delivery of an infusion to a patient when a controlled or metered delivery was intended. For more than 20 years--in numerous articles presented in Health Devices and its sister publication Health Devices Alerts--ECRI has offered guidance to help hospitals avoid the dangers of free-flow. The current article is the latest in a series of reports addressing JCAHO's goal; it describes the dangers, provides updated guidance for interpreting JCAHO's goal, and categorizes the available pump models according to the level of free-flow protection offered. This report supersedes Health Devices Alerts Special Reports S0008 (August 23, 2002), S0018 (March 21, 2003), and S0029 (November 14, 2003). [2]This goal still remains in effect today until it is corrected or device is removed from the medical facility.


  1. Clark, Tobey,. "Is the Warning Effective? Clinical Alarms Remain an Area for Patient Safety Improvement" JCAHO News & Views. July/August 2005.
  2. National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine. "JCAHO's National Patient Safety Goal for infusion pump free-flow protection: ECRI's assessment of the protection offered by general-purpose, PCA, and ambulatory pumps.". Health Devices. 2004 Dec;33(12):430-5.


National Patient Safety