The AJCC Patient Care Page is a service of the American Journal of Critical Care and the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses. Designed to elaborate AACN practice guidelines based on content in select articles, this page may be photocopied noncommercially for use by readers in their workplace, in continuing education programs, or for distribution to colleagues, patients, or patients’ families. To purchase bulk reprints, call (800) 899-1712.

Patient safety has taken an increasingly prominent place in the acute and critical care environments in the past 10 years, culminating in efforts to establish a culture of safety in every facility. In 2002, The Joint Commission announced the first set of National Patient Safety Goals that required each organization to review policies, procedures, and processes embedded within the culture to ensure compliance with the goals. Today, quality improvement efforts permeate individual critical care and...

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