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Don’t let complexity get in the way of safety in healthcare. That is the “simple” goal of a new coalition-spearheaded by the AAMI Foundation-that is tackling the challenge of the burgeoning development and use of complex healthcare technology. Over the next two years, the aptly named National Coalition to Promote the Safe Use of Complex Healthcare Technology aims to build a body of best practices to guide healthcare facilities and clinicians in their procurement, use, and training of technology.
These efforts kicked off in an April 12-13 meeting in Annapolis, Md. The considerations around improving the safety of complex healthcare technology are themselves complex. Addressing them will have far-reaching implication that stretch from the hospital to the patient’s home setting, and ultimately to industry, which designs the devices. That’s important because when clinicians don’t understand the intricacies of the device that they’re using, or the device is difficult to use, what results is too often an error by omission.
“Patients are still at risk of getting hurt in hospitals because of shortcomings in properly preparing clinicians to utilize complex technology in the patient care setting,” said Jim Piepenbrink, deputy executive director of the AAMI Foundation. “Clinicians are inundated with technology with the intent of improving patient care and for providing better clinical information to manage the care of the patient. Through our collaboration with industry and clinical leaders, we have found that there are limitations in most training programs because of the lack of time afforded clinicians. Too often, they’re left to figure things out on their own, or they receive training secondhand from someone else. The full breadth of what they need to know is not covered.”
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