Joint Commission, WHO fight care errors

Working with the Joint Commission, the World Health Organization has begun promoting a list of nine solutions designed to prevent care errors prevalent around the world. The solutions include methods for avoiding errors in administering look-alike, sound alike drugs; assuring correct patient identification; streamlining patient hand-over communications; hand hygiene; and needle reuse and injection safety. For example, the WHO/Joint Commission suggests several methods for verifying patient identity, including patient involvement, standardization of methods across entire healthcare systems and use of protocols for distinguishing patients with the same last name. To improve hand hygiene, another problem for providers across the globe, recommendations include having alcohol-based hand-rubs readily available, keeping safe, continuous water supplies accessible and educating staff on hand hygiene techniques. The Joint Commission has been working with the WHO since 2005 to develop these standards, consulting experts from more than 100 countries to identify safety challenges common to providers around the world.

To learn more about the initiative:
- read this WHO/Joint Commission press release

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