ECRI Publishes Top Patient Safety Issues for 2021

The Emergency Care Research Institute (ECRI) has released its list of 2021 patient safety concerns to help healthcare systems identify, prioritize and respond to patient safety threats. The report explains that increased focus on collaboration among providers, partner healthcare organizations, community agencies, patients and family members can reduce the risk of adverse events.

Based on ECRI’s analysis of more than 4 million patient safety events, the issues, and the associated risk mitigation recommendations, include but are not limited to:

  • Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Healthcare: Adopting actionable steps can start to address inequity due to implicit and explicit bias and structural racism in medicine;
  • Pandemic Preparedness Across the Health System: Emergency preparedness strategies can help health systems to lessen the impact of future infectious disease outbreaks;
  • Telehealth Workflow Challenges: Transition to new telehealth care delivery models requires organizations to ensure patient safety while expanding these services;
  • Improvised Use of Medical Devices: Risk management protocols related to medical equipment limitations, failures, user errors and improvisations can reduce the likelihood of an event that adversely impacts patient care; and
  • Infection Risk from Aerosol Generating Procedures: Developing, implementing and enforcing appropriate safety precautions during aerosol-generating procedures is essential for optimizing infection control.

Of the 10 topics ranked by ECRI, the agency notes that eight have heightened importance due to the pandemic.  

ECRI members can download the complete report, which also includes details on emergency preparedness and response in aging services, supply chain disruption, drug shortages, methotrexate therapy and peripheral vascular harm, as well as guidance for addressing these matters. Additionally, the publication features ECRI’s list of perennial patient safety issues, such as diagnostic stewardship and medication safety, that warrant ongoing attention.

MLMIC remains committed to advancing safety in our insured facilities and physician practices. Our Risk Management Consultants are available to assist clients in their ongoing efforts to identify and address areas of concern. 

MLMIC policyholders are encouraged to monitor our blog and review our Risk Management Tips with recommendations for minimizing risk associated with these topics.