ECRI Institute released its “Top 10 Medical Technology Hazards of 2020,” which it says can help health systems identify “possible sources of danger or difficulty” with certain technologies and take “steps to minimize the likelihood that adverse events will occur.”
The report states that, while these devices warrant attention, all potential problems can be avoided and risks “can be minimized through the careful management of technologies.”
Here are the 10 medical devices that ECRI says should be prioritized by facilities and providers:
1. misuse of surgical staplers;
2. adoption of point-of-care ultrasound that outpaces safeguards;
3. infection risks from sterile processing errors;
4. hemodialysis risks with central venous catheters;
5. unproven surgical robotic procedures;
6. overload from alarms, alerts and notifications;
7. cybersecurity risks in the connected home healthcare environment;
8. missing implant data that delays or adds danger to MRI scans;
9. medication errors from dose timing discrepancies in EHRs; and
10. loose nuts and bolts leading to catastrophic device failures and severe injury.
ECRI Institute notes that the list does not reflect “the most frequently reported problems” or devices “associated with the most severe consequences,” but rather “judgment about which risks should receive priority” based on the following criteria: severity of risk, frequency of harm, difficulty of recognizing problems and preventability.
Click here to access the complete edition of the report.
In addition, MLMIC offers a number of resources that can help policyholders implement effective risk management strategies for the devices identified by ECRI:
- FDA Takes Action to Reduce Risks Associated with Surgical Staplers, a blog post on FDA recommendations for reducing risk associated with use of these devices;
- Medication Dosing Errors Continue to Rise in the U.S., a blog post that encourages physicians and healthcare facilities to adopt strategies that assist in proper administration of prescribed and over-the-counter medications;
- Management of Medical Equipment for Patient Care, a risk management tip with recommendations on proper management of medical equipment; and
- KHN: Clinicians Ignore EHR Alerts 49-96% of the Time, a blog post examining the prevalence and potential consequences of alert fatigue.
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