Top health technology issues for 2016

Patient Safety Monitor Insider

November 11, 2015

The ECRI Institute released their top 10 health technology hazards for 2016 this week and inadequate cleaning of flexible endoscopes grabbed the top spot, bumping clinical alarms out of the top spot for the first time in five years.

The ECRI Institute publishes the annual list to help hospitals and physicians focus on the most pressing health technology issues and reduce risk to patients. The Top 10 Health Technology Hazards for 2016, contain repeat issues as well as some unexpected new issues.

A series of fatal carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriacae (CRE) infections that attracted a lot of attention in 2014 and 2015 prompted moving flexible endoscopes to the top spot, according to the report.

While missing critical clinical alarms dropped to the second spot, it should still remain a focus especially as the January 1, 2016 deadline for the second phase of National Patient Safety Goal on clinical alarms is fast approaching.

Other issues on the list include:

  •     Failure to monitor post-op patients for opioid-induced respiratory depression
  •     Inadequate surveillance of patients in the telemetry unit
  •     Insufficient training of physicians on OR technology
  •     Errors when health IT and facility workflow are not in alignment
  •     Unsafe injection practices
  •     Gamma camera mechanical failures
  •     Failure to appropriately operate intensive care vents
  •     Malfunctioning medical devices due to incorrect use of USB ports

Topics on the list take into account factors such severity, frequency, breadth, insidiousness, profile, and preventability.

Download the free report here.