examining the top ten medical technology hazards of 2015 iii

In today’s post, we’ll wrap up our discussion of the ECRI Institute’s report on the Top 10 Health Technology Hazards for 2015, a 30-page publication that will more than likely guide much of the conversation about hospital safety over the next 12 months.

7. Dose creep

While this may sound like a made-up medical term, it is a very real and very dangerous phenomenon. It involves a patient being subjected to multiple rounds of radiographic tests — X-rays, CT scans, PET scans, etc. — for various diagnostic purposes over the years. Here, the danger rests in the cumulative radiation exposure, which can present certain health consequences over time.

The ECRI Institute advises hospitals to invest in the necessary tools and training that are now readily available to help mitigate the risk of dose creep.

8. Robotic surgery

The report indicates that while the future for robotic surgery is indeed promising, it’s imperative that its use is accompanied by proper training not just for surgeons, but for the entire surgical team and associated staff members.

That’s because any surgical errors stemming from a lack of understanding about how to operate and/or maintain the equipment can prove disastrous or even deadly for a patient.

9. Cybersecurity relating to medical devices/systems

Lately, it’s been impossible to turn on the news without hearing some sort of story about big box retailers, financial institutions or even movie studios being victimized by widespread cyber attacks.

According to the ECRI Institute, even though there is currently little evidence that the cyber vulnerabilities of health IT systems have resulted in any sort of patient harm, hospitals must still be on guard for this possibility and take the necessary precautions.

10. Overwhelmed recall/safety alert management programs

The ECRI Institute identifies the need for hospitals to implement a proactive response to alerts related to medical devices — from low priority issues to life-threatening recalls, etc. — as its final technology hazard of 2015.

Here, the report indicates that while hospitals receive adequate warnings from the FDA, device manufacturers and patient safety groups about medical device issues/recalls, it’s imperative that they implement measures designed to do more than just warn patients, but actually prevent possible harm.

If you believe that hospital negligence may have played a role in your personal injuries or the loss of a loved one, don’t be intimidated. Instead, consider speaking with an experienced legal professional who can get to the bottom of what happened and who is not afraid to take the necessary action.

Source: Health Data Management, “ECRI’s Top 10 Technology Hazards for 2015,” Accessed Dec. 15, 2014

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