Advancing Patient Safety in Ambulatory Health Care: The 2024 National Patient Safety Goals


The Joint Commission’s National Patient Safety Goals (NPSGs) for Ambulatory Health Care, effective from January 1, 2024, represent a significant step towards enhancing patient safety in outpatient care settings. These goals are specifically designed to address the unique challenges and risks inherent in ambulatory health care.

The Essence of 2024 NPSGs for Ambulatory Health Care

Ambulatory Health Care settings, including outpatient clinics, same-day surgery centers, and other non-hospital-based services, play a critical role in the healthcare delivery system. The 2024 NPSGs aim to promote a safer and more effective patient care environment in these settings.

Key Components of the 2024 Ambulatory Health Care NPSGs

While the full text of the 2024 NPSGs can be downloaded from The Joint Commission’s website, the core areas of focus include:

  1. Patient Identification Accuracy:
    • Ensuring accurate identification of patients to prevent errors in treatment and testing.
  2. Improving Staff Communication:
    • Enhancing the effectiveness of communication among caregivers, particularly in the context of critical test results and medication orders.
  3. Medication Safety:
    • Safe medication prescribing and administration, including a focus on high-risk medications.
  4. Safe Use of Alarm Systems:
    • Ensuring that alarm systems in ambulatory settings are used effectively to enhance patient safety.
  5. Reducing the Risk of Healthcare-Associated Infections:
    • Implementing evidence-based practices to prevent infections related to surgery, devices, and hand hygiene.
  6. Reducing the Risk of Patient Harm Resulting from Falls:
    • Implementing strategies to identify and mitigate fall risks in the ambulatory care setting.
  7. Preventing Surgical Mistakes:
    • Ensuring correct-site, correct-procedure, and correct-patient surgery through a consistent, standardized approach.

Implementation and Compliance

  • Downloadable Resources:
    • The Joint Commission provides a complete chapter and a simplified version of the 2024 NPSGs for Ambulatory Health Care, available for download on their website.
  • Continuous Compliance:
    • Ambulatory care organizations are encouraged to integrate these goals into their daily operations to achieve and maintain continuous standards compliance.

Why These Goals Matter

  • Enhanced Patient Safety: These goals are instrumental in reducing the occurrence of common errors and enhancing overall patient safety in ambulatory settings.
  • Operational Improvement: By aligning with these goals, ambulatory health care providers can experience operational improvements, leading to better patient outcomes and increased efficiency.
  • Setting a Standard for Care: The NPSGs serve as a benchmark for quality and safety, helping ambulatory care providers to measure and improve their care delivery processes.


The 2024 National Patient Safety Goals for Ambulatory Health Care are more than just guidelines; they are pivotal in shaping the future of patient safety in outpatient care settings. By adhering to these goals, ambulatory health care providers can significantly enhance the safety and quality of care they offer, ultimately leading to better health outcomes and patient satisfaction. The Joint Commission’s commitment to continuous improvement in healthcare standards is clearly reflected in these thoughtfully crafted goals, tailored to meet the specific needs of ambulatory health care.