Feature | November 20, 2013

ECRI Institute Releases Top 10 Health Technology Hazards Report for 2014

Alarm hazards, robotic surgery risks, radiation exposure in hybrid OR included in list

November 20, 2013 — Each year, ECRI Institute, an independent nonprofit that researches the best approaches to improving patient care, offers a patient safety service to the healthcare community. The 2014 Top 10 Health Technology Hazards list raises awareness of the potential dangers associated with the use of medical devices and helps healthcare providers minimize the risk of technology-related adverse events.  
 
The 2014 list highlights the top 10 safety topics that warrant particular attention for the coming year. A 16-page executive brief about the hazards is available for free on ECRI’s website. It describes safety issues resulting from the following 10 technologies:
 
  1. Alarm hazards
  2. Infusion pump medication errors
  3. Computed tomography (CT) radiation exposure in pediatric patients
  4. Data integrity failures in electronic health records (EHRs) and other health information technology (IT) systems
  5. Occupational radiation hazards in hybrid ORs
  6. Inadequate reprocessing of endoscopes and surgical instruments
  7. Neglecting change management for networked devices and systems
  8. Risks to pediatric patients from “adult” technologies
  9. Robotic surgery complications due to insufficient training
  10. Retained devices and unretrieved fragments
 
Clinical alarm hazards remain at the top of the list due to their prevalence, their potential to result in serious patient harm and the increased attention they will receive from the Joint Commission in the coming year. In an April 2013 Sentinel Event Alert, the Joint Commission cited 98 alarm-related events over a 3.5-year period, with 80 of those events resulting in death and 13 in permanent loss of function. The organization subsequently issued a National Patient Safety Goal for 2014 to compel healthcare providers to address alarm hazards. ECRI has developed resources and tools to help providers meet the provisions of this new goal, and it offers an alarm management safety review consulting service.     
 
New topics this year include hazards related to radiation exposure in hybrid ORs and complications arising from insufficient training in the application of robotic surgery. The list also includes two hazards describing risks to pediatric patients: CT radiation dose and the use of technologies designed for adults.
 
“Technology safety can often be overlooked,” says James Keller Jr., vice president, health technology evaluation and safety, ECRI Institute. “Based on our experience, there are serious safety problems that need to be addressed. ECRI recommends that hospitals use our list as a guide to help prioritize their technology-related safety initiatives.”
 
To develop the annual list, ECRI and ECRI patient safety organization (PSO) engineers, scientists, nurses, physicians and patient safety analysts draw on the resources of the institute’s 45-year history, as well as their own expertise and insight gained through analyzing healthcare technologies. This includes examining health technology-related problem reports from hospitals and health systems worldwide as well as those received through federally designated patient safety organization, ECRI PSO.
 
Complementing the annual list is ECRI’s Web-based Health Technology Hazard Self-Assessment Tool, which provides a facility- or department-specific risk factor rating of low, medium, or high related to each of the top 10 hazards. The tool also provides targeted recommendations for mitigating the risks associated with each of the top 10 hazards.   
 
A more comprehensive discussion of each hazard, additional recommendations for minimizing the risks and a list of useful resources for more information about each topic are provided in the November 2013 issue of Health Devices.
 
For more information: www.ecri.org, www.jointcommission.org

Related Content

Healthcare cybersecurity concerns have increased dramatically as EMRs and medical devices become more digitally connected.

Healthcare cybersecurity concerns have increased dramatically as EMRs and medical devices become more digitally connected.

Feature | Cybersecurity| August 18, 2017 | Dave Fornell
August 17, 2017 — Cybersecurity has become a growing concern in healthcare as patient data, medical systems and impla
Houston Methodist Hospital Enters Multi-Year Technology and Research Agreement With Siemens Healthineers
News | Cardiac Imaging| August 17, 2017
Houston Methodist Hospital and Siemens Healthineers have entered into a multi-year agreement to bring cutting-edge...
ScImage Awarded U.S. Government DIN-PACS IV Contract
News | PACS| August 16, 2017
ScImage Inc. was recently awarded a new DIN-PACS IV (Digital Imaging Network/Picture Archiving and Communications...
The FDA is concerned about cybersecurity of ICDs and cyber security of other medical devices.
Feature | Cybersecurity| August 16, 2017 | Dave Fornell
There is growing concern among patients and regulators that medical devices, especially implantable electrophysiology
Four Blue Cross Blue Shield Companies Issue Positive Medical Policies on HeartFlow FFRct Analysis
News | FFR Catheters| August 09, 2017
HeartFlow Inc. announced that four Blue Cross Blue Shield companies have each issued a positive medical policy for the...
3D printing of the heart and coronary artery tree from a patient's CT scan.
Sponsored Content | Webinar | 3-D Printing| August 09, 2017
Learn how 3-D printing empowers medical device manufacturer Medtronic to bring products to market faster, develop bet
Virtual Phantoms Inc. Releases VirtualDose-IR
Technology | Radiation Dose Management| August 07, 2017
Virtual Phantoms Inc. announced the release of VirtualDoseIR, a tool for assessing organ dose from interventional...
Xavier University Announces Healthcare Artificial Intelligence Summit
News | Artificial Intelligence| August 07, 2017
Xavier University has launched the Xavier Center for Artificial Intelligence (AI), a pioneering effort to accelerate...
Moffitt Cancer Center Enhances Patient Care with Toshiba Medical's Infinix-i 4-D
News | Interventional Radiology| August 03, 2017
Cancer patients at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Fla., now have access to advanced diagnostic imaging for fast and...
Nuance Restores Service to Majority of eScription Clients Following Malware Incident
News | Information Technology| July 28, 2017
Nuance Communications Inc. provided an update on its restoration process following the previously reported June 27,...
Overlay Init