WHO Redesignates ECRI as a PAHO/WHO Collaborating Center for Patient Safety, Risk Management and Healthcare Technology

PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa. -- ECRI today announced that

the World Health Organization (WHO) has expanded ECRI's status as a

Collaborating Center in recognition of its efforts in quality of care and

patient safety.

ECRI has been a Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)/WHO

Collaborating Center for Healthcare Technology for 15 years and received

additional recognition for its work in risk and quality management in 1999.

Under the new four-year terms, ECRI serves as a PAHO/WHO Collaborating Center

for Patient Safety, Risk Management, and Healthcare Technology.

"This expanded status is especially gratifying because it draws on ECRI's

mission to provide the highest standards of safety, quality, and cost-

effectiveness in healthcare to benefit patient care," says WHO Center director

Ronni P. Solomon, J.D., executive vice president and general counsel, ECRI.

"We have also worked extensively with PAHO for many years on a range of health

technology issues in Latin America and now will expand this to patient safety.

We are honored that WHO has recognized our efforts and broadened our role as a

Collaborating Center."

Jeffrey C. Lerner, PhD, ECRI president and chief executive officer,

says, "Our current initiatives with WHO include designing an international

conference on proactively preventing error and mitigating risks in both

developed and developing countries. There is a great deal to be learned by

sharing patient safety information across borders."

Activities to be carried out by ECRI under the new terms of reference

relate to improving quality of care and patient safety, as well as developing

the evidence base in areas such as risk management and technology assessment.

Other activities include evaluating the impact of technology management

efforts on service quality and developing tools and capacity building in

health technology management.

ECRI's new terms of reference as a PAHO/WHO Collaborating Center are as


1. To serve as a center of excellence for WHO to support research and the

implementation of research findings in patient safety, healthcare

technology, and risk management

2. To establish and coordinate the medical device safety program,

consisting of the establishment of a centralized database reporting

system for medical device adverse events and near misses from

countries, the analysis of such reports, the issuance of

recommendations and safe practices for preventing such problems, and

the promotion of the program to countries

3. In order to enhance information exchange on medical device safety,

procurement, and management, to develop, maintain, and promulgate in

various languages a Universal Medical Device Nomenclature System(TM)

(UMDNS(TM)) and, in the context of global harmonization efforts, to

work on its compatibility with other medical device nomenclatures,

particularly the Global Medical Device Nomenclature (GMDN)

4. To provide training programs and fellowships in technology assessment;

planning, procurement, and management of medical equipment; and in

related application of information and software

5. To support ongoing global harmonization and patient safety efforts by

providing on-site technical assistance and consultation support in its

areas of expertise to ministries of health, national regulatory

authorities, nongovernmental organizations, and healthcare and academic


6. To further develop, expand, and maintain its library and information

resources and continue to serve as the WHO Healthcare Technology

Archives and to facilitate public access to these resources

7. To identify and disseminate healthcare standards and guidelines and

facilitate worldwide accessibility by serving as the WHO Healthcare

Standards and Guidelines Archives

8. To serve as an information clearinghouse, provide advisory services,

and provide technical support on patient safety, risk management, and

healthcare technology for various levels

ECRI is a nonprofit international health services research agency and an

Evidence-based Practice Center as designated by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare

Research and Quality. ECRI provides information and technical assistance to

the healthcare community to support safe and cost-effective patient care. The

results of ECRI's research and experience are available through its

publications, information systems, technical assistance, laboratory services,

seminars and fellowships.

Source: ECRI