ECRI: 10 top health tech dangers

November 5, 2013 in Medical Technology

The health IT hazard that tops the ECRI Institute‘s top hazards list for 2014 is a recurring one, having been singled out by many safety organizations as something to beware.

ECRI’s 2014 Top 10 Health Technology Hazards list is intended to raise awareness of the potential dangers associated with the use of medical devices and technology, and it aims to help healthcare providers minimize the risk of adverse events. 

[See also: ECRI on health IT hazard trail.]

The 2014 list highlights the top 10 safety topics that ECRI officials say warrant particular attention for the coming year. A 16-page executive brief about the hazards is available here.

Top 10 hazards:

1. Alarm hazards

2. Infusion pump medication errors

3. CT radiation exposure in pediatric patients

4. Data integrity failures in EHRs and other health 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’ll receive from the Joint Commission in the coming year, ECRI officials said in a statement.

In an April 2013 Sentinel Event Alert, the Joint Commission cited 98 alarm-related events over a three-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 Institute 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

[See also: ECRI: 10 ways to cut health IT risks.]  


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