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Health IT, Care Coordination, and Drug Shortages Lead ECRI Institute's 2014 List of Top 10 Patient Safety Concerns

Free download from ECRI Institute highlights root causes for serious patient safety events

PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa., April 22, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Patient safety is a top priority for every healthcare organization, but knowing where to direct initiatives can be daunting. To help organizations decide where to focus their efforts, ECRI Institute has compiled its first annual list of the Top 10 Patient Safety Concerns for Healthcare Organizations.

Health IT, care coordination, and drug shortages lead ECRI Institute’s 2014 List of Top 10 Patient Safety Concerns. Free download from ECRI Institute highlights root causes for serious patient safety events.

With the federal government offering financial incentives for hospitals and physician practices to adopt electronic health records (EHRs), it is no surprise that health IT is the #1 item on this year's list. What is surprising, says ECRI Institute, is the specific risk from the integrity of data in health IT systems. While appropriately designed and implemented systems can support patient safety and quality of care, incorrect data can lead to patient harm. ECRI Institute addressed the same concerns with health IT in its Top 10 Health Technology Hazards for 2014.

Poor care coordination, drug shortages, and mislabeled specimens made ECRI Institute's list, as well as falls while toileting and foreign objects unintentionally retained after surgery, childbirth, or other interventional procedures. ECRI Institute's analysis reveals specific contributing factors that can lead to greater occurrences of these events. This awareness enables organizations to spend their patient safety effort in ways most likely to reduce patient harm and therefore the costs of care.

"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," says Karen P. Zimmer, MD, MPH, FAAP, medical director of ECRI Institute's patient safety, risk, and quality group and of ECRI Institute Patient Safety Organization (PSO).

"ECRI Institute PSO has been collecting and analyzing events since 2009 and there are sufficient data to share recurring themes and associated prevention strategies," Zimmer adds.

This list is intended to help healthcare organizations identify priorities and aid them in creating corrective action plans. ECRI Institute is providing free access (with registration) to a number of educational tools, including:  full report, a PowerPoint slideshow that summarizes the Top 10, and a poster.

"The events reported to us give us a deeper understanding that an event we're seeing in one organization, we're also seeing in others," says Catherine Pusey, RN, MBA, manager of clinical analysts at ECRI Institute PSO. "Included with this report are recommended risk mitigation strategies for these issues. Individuals in risk and quality departments can present this information to their organization's leadership to get the resources they need to improve safety."

The top 10 report is available for free download with registration at https://www.ecri.org/PatientSafetyTop10. For information about working with ECRI Institute PSO, visit www.ecri.org/pso, e-mail [email protected], call (610) 825-6000, ext. 5558, or write to us at 5200 Butler Pike, Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462.

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About ECRI Institute
For over 45 years, ECRI Institute's work in patient safety, adverse event reporting and analysis, and development of recommendations has improved patient care at hospitals and other providers around the world. The ECRI Institute Patient Safety Organization is a component of ECRI Institute, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to improving the safety, quality, and cost-effectiveness of patient care. ECRI Institute has a long history of investigating events and publishing authoritative risk reduction strategies. ECRI Institute is designated as an Evidence-based Practice Center by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. ECRI Institute developed and implements the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Reporting System, a mandatory error and near-miss reporting program for Pennsylvania hospitals and other healthcare facilities, under contract to the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority, winner of the 2006 John M. Eisenberg Award. For more information, visit www.ecri.org. Find ECRI Institute on Facebook (www.facebook.com/ECRIInstitute) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/ECRI_Institute).

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