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

(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.

To view “R3 Report,”please visit “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


Founded in 1951, The Joint Commission seeks to continuously improve health care for the public, in collaboration with other stakeholders, by evaluating health care organizations and inspiring them to excel in providing safe and effective care of the highest quality and value. The Joint Commission evaluates and accredits more than 20,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States, including more than 10,600 hospitals and home care organizations, and more than 6,600 other health care organizations that provide long term care, behavioral health care, laboratory and ambulatory care services. The Joint Commission also certifies more than 2,400 disease-specific care programs such as stroke, heart failure, joint replacement and stroke rehabilitation, and 400 health care staffing services. An independent, not-for-profit organization, The Joint Commission is the nation's oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care. Learn more about The Joint Commission at

The Joint Commission, Joint Commission Resources, Joint Commission International


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Elizabeth Eaken Zhani
Media Relations Manager
The Joint Commission

Katie Looze
Media Relations Specialist
The Joint Commission