Joint Commission issues new requirements to curb harm from blood thinners

Effective July 1, the Joint Commission is requiring healthcare organizations to use approved protocols and evidence-based guidelines for direct oral anticoagulants after seeing a rise in adverse drug events linked to this treatment.

To help organizations better comply with the updated national patient safety goal on reducing harm linked to anticoagulant therapy, the accrediting organization describes its national patient safety goal for anticoagulant therapy in a new report.

The patient safety goal will include eight performance elements (specific actions, processes or structures) that must be implemented to achieve the goal. The performance elements are applicable to all Joint Commission-accredited hospitals, critical access hospitals, nursing care centers and medical centers.

Healthcare organizations will be required to use approved protocols and evidence-based guidelines for:

  • Initiating and maintaining anticoagulant therapy 
  • Reversing anticoagulation and managing bleeding events linked to each medication 
  • Managing all patients on oral anticoagulants perioperatively

Organizations will also be required to have a written policy addressing the need for ongoing laboratory tests to monitor anticoagulant therapy and educate patients/families on blood-thinning medication prescribed. 

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