New JCAHO Medication Management Standards for 2004

Darryl S. Rich


Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2004;61(13) 

In This Article

Changes Related to Evaluating Medication Management Systems

Health care organizations must evaluate their medication management system on an ongoing basis for risk points (i.e., steps in the process that may be at risk for failure and result in a medication error) and identify areas to improve safety. This requirement is detailed in standard MM.8.10 The organization evaluates its medication management system. Routine evaluation of the literature for new technologies and successful practices that have been demonstrated to enhance safety in other organizations and their applicability to the organization is required. JCAHO also requires a review of internally generated reports to identify trends and issues that need to be addressed. In other words, consistent and constant improvement in the medication management system is expected.

It should be noted that these are not the only medication-related standards in the manual. Pharmacists need to look at other chapters. For example, medication-related patient education is in the Provision of Care chapter. The requirement for data collection and analysis of the medication management system, significant adverse drug reactions, and significant medication errors appears in the Improving Organizational Performance chapter. The requirements for conducting a proactive risk assessment of a high-risk process annually and implementing a patient-safety process are still in the Improving Organizational Performance and Leadership chapters, respectively. Standards related to equipment use are found in the Environment of Care chapter, and standards related to competence assessment and staffing data are found in the Management of Human Resources chapter.