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Patient safety advocacy groups, medical professionals and hospital officials have all come to appreciate the periodic reports issued by the Pennsylvania-based ECRI Institute for their valuable insight into how to make facilities and procedures safer for patients.
As it turns out, the organization recently released its second annual Top 10 Patient Safety Concerns for Healthcare Organizations, a comprehensive report designed to help medical facilities identify and better understand where patient safety initiatives should be directed.
The top five patient safety concerns identified in the report include:
Regarding alarm hazards, the ECRI Institute officials indicate that hospital officials need to be aware of more than just the idea of alarm fatigue, which is the danger posed by medical staff becoming so accustomed to hearing false alarms that they ignore what could turn out to be a potentially life-threatening event.
Specifically, they also need to be aware of the risks of improperly configured patient alarm systems that may fail to sound a warning when a patient is in actual danger.
As far as the issue of data integrity and electronic health records are concerned, the ECRI Institute argues that while this technology has great promise for streamlining patient care, it is not without very real risks. Indeed, they urge medical facilities to be aware of the patient safety risks posed by incorrect data entry or missing data in EHRs.
It’s worth noting that both the improper sterilization of endoscopes, something we’ve covered extensively on our blog in recent weeks, came in at number eight on the list.
Here’s hoping that medical facilities make a point of not only examining how they stand in relation to the these ten patient safety measures, but also implementing any necessary changes to ensure compliance.