AAMI Creates Glossary to Help End Confusion Surrounding 'Adverse Event' Terms

The Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) has created a glossary of terms and suggested meanings related to adverse events.

The glossary, available for free at www.aami.org/utti/glossary, was created by AAMIs Clinical Engineering Management Committee (CEMC) to help end confusion about terms that have multiple meanings and definitions.

"The communication related to device safety is not common," says Yadin David, director of Biomedical Engineering Consultants LLC in Houston, Texas. "We use different terms for different conditions, which has created confusion. Overall, it does not make our field able to focus on the real issues surrounding device safety."

David, who chaired the subcommittee that created the glossary, says he hopes that it will lead to more accurate reporting from healthcare technology management professionals on adverse events related to devices, and result in better research and data on problems surrounding certain devices.

"By improving communication, we could help to move toward better device safety," he says.

The glossary features about 400 terms collected from various sources and references including the FDA, National Cancer Institute Thesaurus, Global Medical Device Nomenclature, ECRI Institute, and the International Organization for Standardization.

A panel of outside experts and the FDA also reviewed the terms and gave feedback. David says that the CEMC plans to create additional glossaries on other subjects, ranging from terms used in job descriptions to biomed management practices.