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Joint Commission R3 Report Explains New Clinical Alarm National Patient Safety Goal

December 11, 2013
By: Elizabeth Eaken Zhani, Media Relations Manager

View the multi-media news release

(Oakbrook Terrace, Ill. – December 11, 2013) The Joint Commission today released an “R3 Report” for the new National Patient Safety Goal (NPSG) that requires accredited hospitals and critical access hospitals to improve the safety of their clinical alarm systems. “R3 Report” provides accredited healthcare organizations and interested healthcare professionals in-depth information about the rationale and references that were employed in the development of the new alarm NPSG. 

The alarm NPSG is being implemented in two phases. The first phase will go into effect on January 1, 2014, and heightens awareness of the potential risks associated with clinical alarms. The second phase, will be effective January 1, 2016, and introduces requirements to mitigate those risks. The goal addresses clinical alarms that can compromise patient safety if they are not properly managed. This includes alarms from equipment such as cardiac monitors, IV machines, ventilators, etc. that have visual and/or auditory components. In general, this does not include items such as nurse call systems, alerts from computerized provider order entry, or other information technology systems.

Highlights of the report include:

  • The history of the first alarm NPSG, and why a new NPSG is needed.

  • Activities that led up to the development of the current NPSG, including a summit co-convened by The Joint Commission, the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation, ECRI Institute, the American College of Clinical Engineering, and the Food and Drug Administration.

  • Information about responses from the field on the proposed NPSG and how it affected the current version of the goal and how future input will be used.

  • A select bibliography of sources that informed development of the NPSG.


View the “R3 Report. “R3 Report” may be reproduced only in its entirety and must be credited to The Joint Commission. To receive “R3 Report” by e-mail, visit

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