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Joint Commission Announces Field Review for Medication Reconciliation Goal

Heather Comak, for HealthLeaders Media, April 2, 2010

The Joint Commission has announced the field review of its revised medication reconciliation requirement, which it has designated as National Patient Safety Goal (NPSG) 03.07.01.

The field review comes after The Joint Commission announced it would make the existing medication reconciliation goal (NPSG 8) one with which hospitals had to comply, but about which they would not be surveyed. The 2010 NPSGs contain language about medication reconciliation, but the field has widely expected an announcement about what will become of the goal.

The accreditor had previously said it would update the goal because it had received feedback from the field indicating that hospitals felt the goal was too difficult to implement. Last February, The Joint Commission said it would "evaluate and refine the expectations for accredited organizations." The field review is the result of this refinement.

The revised goal is designed to work in tandem with other medication management requirements. It requires providers to maintain and communicate accurate information regarding a patient's medications. Specifically, the goal would require hospitals to:

  • Obtain medication information from patients at admission

  • Compare that information with the medications ordered for the patient and identify discrepancies

  • Communicate to the patient at discharge information about the medications he or she should be taking

  • Impress upon the patient the importance of managing his or her medications outside of the facility.

The Joint Commission is asking for feedback from the field through May 11, although it would prefer feedback by April 30. The standard will be tested in the field prior to implementation. If you'd like to offer your feedback, and to see the full text of the proposed goal, visit The Joint Commission's page about the field review.


Heather Comak is a Managing Editor at HCPro, Inc., where she is the editor of the monthly publication Briefings on Patient Safety, as well as patient safety-related books and audio conferences. She is also is the Assistant Director of the Association for Healthcare Accreditation Professionals. Contact Heather by e-mailing hcomak@hcpro.com.

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