ecri institute names top patient safety concerns in 2014

Several times throughout the year, the Pennsylvania-based ECRI Institute will release two highly influential top 10 lists identifying various healthcare issues, of which both hospitals and medical professionals should be aware, and offering comprehensive solutions or preventive strategies.

For instance, the group, whose stated mission is to “research the best approaches for safety, quality, and cost-effectiveness in healthcare,” released a report identifying the top 10 health technology hazards for 2014 back in December.

In recent developments, the ECRI has now released a brand new list entitled “The Top 10 Patient Safety Concerns for Healthcare Organizations.”

As with all lists released by the ECRI Institute, this first-of-its-kind offering was the brainchild of a multidisciplinary team comprised of everyone from physicians and scientists to attorneys and business professionals.

Here, the team examined over 300,000 patient-safety events voluntarily reported to the ECRI Institute’s reporting system by over 1,200 U.S. hospitals. Once 20 discrete types of patient safety concerns were identified, the team narrowed the number down to 10, selecting and ranking what it believed to be the most important topics and devising corrective action plans.

“In a time of competing priorities and limited resources in healthcare, we encourage facilities to use the list as a starting point for patient safety discussions and for setting their patient safety priorities,” said the medical director of ECRI Institute’s patient safety, risk, and quality group.

What then are the top 10 patient safety concerns of 2014?

  1. Health information technology system failures
  2. Poor patient care coordination/gaps in care levels
  3. Reporting errors involving test results
  4. Drug shortages
  5. Failures to properly care for behavioral health patients 
  6. Mislabeled specimens
  7. Retained devices/fragments
  8. Falls while toileting
  9. Inadequate monitoring of patients taking opioids for respiratory distress
  10. Inadequate sterilization/reprocessing of endoscopes and other surgical instruments

In our next post, we will take a closer look at why the ECRI Institute is so concerned with some of these issues.

If you believe that hospital negligence of any kind is behind the loss of a loved one or the serious injuries you have sustained, consider speaking with an experienced legal professional to learn more about protecting your rights and pursuing justice.

Source:, “Health IT issues, care-coordination worries top new ECRI safety list,” Sabriya Rice, April 22, 2014; ECRI Institute, “Health IT, care coordination, and drug shortages lead ECRI Institute’s 2014 List of Top 10 Patient Safety Concerns,” April 22, 2014

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