ECRI Institute Releases Top 10 Health Technology Hazards Report for 2013
|Copyright 2014 by Virgo Publishing.|
|Posted on: 11/05/2012|
While today’s health technology advances provide countless new ways to improve patient care, some also create new opportunities for harm. And with the evolution of healthcare information technology systems such as electronic health records (EHRs), there’s a growing level of complexity and opportunity for error.
Now in its sixth year of publication, the annual Top 10 list is designed to raise awareness of the potential dangers associated with the use of medical devices and systems. A popular roadmap for healthcare providers to prioritize their technology safety initiatives, the list features key topics that warrant particular attention for the coming year with actionable recommendations on addressing them.
Five of the top 10 hazards explained in ECRI Institute’s report are:
1. Alarm hazards
“The inherent complexity of HIT-related medical technologies, their potential to introduce new failure modes, and the possibility that such failures will affect many patients before being noticed—combined with federal incentives to meet Meaningful Use requirements—leads us to encourage healthcare facilities to pay particular attention to health IT when prioritizing their safety initiatives for 2013,” says James P. Keller, Jr., vice president, health technology evaluation and safety, ECRI Institute.
6. Air embolism hazards
7. Inattention to the needs of pediatric patients when using “adult” technologies
8. Inadequate reprocessing of endoscopic devices and surgical instruments
9. Caregiver distractions from smartphones and other mobile devices
10. Surgical fires
Complementing the annual list is ECRI Institute’s web-based Health Technology Hazard Self-Assessment Tool, which provides a facility or department risk factor ratings of low, medium, or high related to each of the Top 10 hazards. Healthcare organizations can then use the information to help prioritize their efforts to address the hazards. The tool also provides facility- and department-specific recommendations for mitigating the risks associated with each of the Top 10 hazards.
The Top 10 Health Technology Hazards list is updated each year based upon the prevalence and severity of incidents reported to ECRI Institute by healthcare facilities nationwide; information found in the Institute’s medical device problem reporting databases; and the judgment, analysis, and expertise of the organization’s multidisciplinary staff.
Healthcare professionals can obtain the complete 2013 list and its recommendations at no cost by using the following link: www.ecri.org/2013hazards.