The Joint Commission (TJC) has approved a new requirement intended to reduce newborn identification errors. Starting January 1, 2019, hospitals and critical access hospitals that provide labor and delivery services will be subject to this new element of performance at National Patient Safety Goal NPSG.01.01.01, EP 3.

Read the full text: Requirement for Distinct Identification for Newborns

According to TJC, “The EP is designed to improve the naming convention of newborns after delivery to prevent medical errors—such as wrong tests, wrong procedures, or administering the wrong expressed breastmilk to an infant—due to conventional, nondistinct naming methods.”

For newborn patients, organizations will be required to use at least two distinct methods of identification for newborn patients. While the EP provides examples of naming conventions, it will be up to healthcare organizations to evaluate their current naming methods of newborn identification and determine the convention they will use toward improved patient safety.

Additionally, TJC released an R3 report, which provides the rationale and references that The Joint Commission employs in the development of new requirements.

Read more: R3 Report Issue 17: Distinct newborn identification requirement

If you have any questions about compliance with this new EP or other TJC requirements, contact our office at (513) 241.0142, via email, or via our contact page.

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