Patient safety organization ECRI comes out with its list of health technology hazards every year, and it often contains the same issues. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed much of that.
The nonprofit organization is focusing this year on the need to move from trying to cope during an emergency to building stronger and more resilient processes, using the innovations developed during the pandemic and the lessons learned along the way.
ECRI engineers, scientists, clinicians and other patient safety analysts nominate topics for the list based on their own expertise and insight gained through:
- Investigating incidents.
- Testing medical devices in the ECRI lab.
- Observing operations and assessing hospital practices.
- Reviewing the literature.
- Speaking with clinicians, clinical engineers, technology managers, purchasing staff, health systems administrators, and device suppliers.
The ECRI staff also considers the thousands of health-technology-related problem reports that it receives and through data that healthcare facilities share with ECRI and the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP).
ECRI said in its summary of this year’s list: “The list does not necessarily enumerate the most frequently reported problems or the ones associated with the most severe consequences — although we do consider such information in our analysis. Rather, the list reflects our judgment about which risks should receive priority now. All the items on our list represent problems that can be avoided or risks that can be minimized through the careful management of technologies.”
Here’s the list, from least to most concerning to ECRI: