KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Joint Commission To Help Hospitals Fix Patient Safety Problems

"The Joint Commission announced today that its newly-formed Center for Transforming Healthcare will work on new collaborative programs with leading hospitals and health care systems to find a cause of the most deadly breakdowns in patient care, and put a stop to them," The Wall Street Journal's Health Blog reports. Hospitals must pay a fee to the Joint Commission to win accreditation and are "evaluated on how well they meet patient safety standards." Now, the commission will also help hospitals fix the problems. "Its first project –- chosen at the request of hospitals - is to take on poor compliance with hand-washing, widely regarded as the best defense against infections that kill nearly 100,000 patients annually. Next up: breakdowns in patient hand-offs from one hospital department or shift to another that often result in medical errors or oversights in care" (Landro, 9/10).

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