New JCAHO Medication Management Standards for 2004

Darryl S. Rich


Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2004;61(13) 

In This Article

Impetus for Change

As of January 1, 2004, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) began surveying health care organizations using new medication management standards. These standards are the culmination of an effort to revise and consolidate existing JCAHO standards related to medication use.

The major impetus for change in the medication-use standards was the release of To Err Is Human: Building a Safer Health System, in which the prevalence of medical errors, particularly medication errors, was brought to the forefront.[1] Many outside expert and advisory groups recommended that JCAHO change its medication-use standards, which were the source of numerous questions and requests for clarification, suggesting that they were not clear to organizations. Also, a number of best practices in medication use were being published by regulatory and advisory agencies (such as the National Quality Forum) that were felt to be relevant but were not addressed in JCAHO's medication-use standards. In 2001, JCAHO decided to revise the medication-use standards for 2003.