JCAHO, FDA, and ECRI Key Policy Makers Explore Top Medical Device Safety Issues during ECRI's Upcoming Audio Conference

PLYMOUTH MEETING, Penn. -- One issue overshadows all others in the healthcare industry: patient safety. But what are the most effective ways to reduce medical error when it comes to medical devices? Key policy makers from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and ECRI will discuss their top concerns in "Medical Technology: Errors and Patient Safety," the fourth audio conference in ECRI's 2002 series on Wednesday, November 20, 2002, from 1:00 to 2:15 p.m. EST (12:00 to 1:15 p.m. CST, 11:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. MST, and 10:00 to 11:15 a.m. PST).

Based on the tremendous wealth of data that FDA, JCAHO, and ECRI receive on medical technology problems and the most serious hazards, experts will focus on simple steps that hospitals can immediately take to minimize technology-related errors and improve patient safety. Participants will learn how to efficiently comply with JCAHO's new patient safety goals. Practical advice will be dispensed on what you should do right away to prevent life threatening injuries or other serious problems caused by medical devices. ECRI's exclusive list of 44 "safe" and "unsafe" free-flow-protected infusion pumps will be included at no additional charge with the conference course materials.

Making up the panel will be Richard J. Croteau, MD, JCAHO's executive director of strategic initiatives, and from FDA's Office of Surveillance and Biometrics, Jay Crowley, principal human factors engineer, and Susan Gardner, PhD, director. James Keller, MS, ECRI's director of Health Devices Group will also speak. The conference will be moderated by Anthony Montagnolo, M.S., ECRI's chief operating officer and executive vice president.

Healthcare professionals and decision makers responsible for patient safety, including biomedical and clinical engineers, administrators, chief operating officers, chief executive officers, patient safety officers, risk managers and clinical department heads, will want to participate.

ECRI's Audio Conference Series, which features expert presentations followed by listener questions, offers the same benefits as educational seminars, but without any travel expenses or time spent out of the office. Participants receive valuable presentation materials to provide ongoing support after the seminar. The registration fee, which includes participation for an entire site on one phone line for the seminar, is $99 for members of ECRI's Health Devices System, SELECTplus Program, or Healthcare Risk Control System and $199 for nonmembers. The deadline for registration and payment is Friday, November 15, 2002. Conference recordings and course materials are also available for sale in CD-ROM or audiocassette formats.

ECRI (www.ecri.org) is a nonprofit international health services research agency and a Collaborating Center for healthcare technology assessment of the World Health Organization. ECRI provides information and technical assistance to the healthcare community to support safe and cost-effective patient care.

To register for ECRI's November 20, 2002, audio conference "Medical Technology: Errors and Patient Safety," contact ECRI by mail at 5200 Butler Pike, Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462-1298, USA; by telephone at (610) 825-6000, ext. 5891; by fax at (610) 834-0240; or by e-mail at communications@ecri.org.