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The journey to zero harm moves at a similar pace. Slowly and steadily we’re working with you to improve patient safety, marching toward the day when health care is viewed as a high-reliability industry.

We’ve learned a lot along the way, and put those lessons into practice. Together with providers like you, we constantly study emerging patient safety issues – and roll out evidence-based methods to solve them.

We encourage you to explore our collection of best practices, reference materials and other resources. Take advantage of our award-winning Speak Up program, which has carried our patient safety message to more than 40 countries. Review our National Patient Safety Goals® or sign up for our safety-related alerts and newsletter, Sentinel Event Alert and Quick Safety below.


Patient Safety Resources

  • This list is part of the Information Management standards
  • Does not apply to pre-programmed health information technology systems (i.e., electronic medical records or CPOE systems), but remains under consideration for the future

Organizations contemplating introduction or upgrade of such systems should strive to eliminate the use of dangerous abbreviations, acronyms, symbols and dose designations from the software.

Download the official "Do Not Use" list

In 2010, the look-alike/sound-alike requirement (NPSG.02.02.01) was moved to the standards and can be found at Medication Management standard MM.01.02.01, EP 1:

The hospital develops a list of look-alike/sound-alike medications it stores, dispenses, or administers.
Note: One source of look-alike/sound-alike medications is The Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP).

The Joint Commission web site no longer maintains a look-alike/sound-alike medication list; please refer to the ISMP web site referenced above for a current list of look-alike/sound-alike medications.

View the ISMP's list

Advancing Effective Communication, Cultural Competence, and Patient-and Family-Centered Care

Effective patient-provider communication is critical to the successful delivery of health care services. The Joint Commission supports a number of efforts to improve communication between health care providers and patients, including standards, monographs, videos, and other resources.

Learn more about effective communication  Screen Reader Text

Health care professionals whose focus is on patient safety are very familiar with these alarming and frequently cited statistics from the Institute of Medicine: medical errors result in the death of between 44,000 and 98,000 patients every year. Health care professionals whose focus is on occupational health and safety, however, are likely aware of additional statistics that are less well known: health care workers experience some of the highest rates of nonfatal occupational illness and injury—exceeding even construction and manufacturing industries.

Download the monograph  Screen Reader Text