ECRI: Top 10 health IT hazards for 2019

ECRI Institute released its top 10 Health Technology Hazards for 2019. The increasing ability of hackers to disrupt healthcare operations by gaining unauthorized access to systems remotely tops the list this year.

Similarly, ransomware and other cybersecurity threats to healthcare delivery topped the institute's 2018 list. These annual lists detail the top issues that the ECRI Institute believes healthcare leaders should prioritize and plan for.

Here is the 2019 list:

1. Hackers can exploit remote access to systems, disrupting healthcare operations.
2. "Clean" mattresses can ooze body fluids onto patients.
3. Retained sponges persist as a surgical complication despite manual counts.
4. Improperly set ventilator alarms put patients at risk for hypoxic brain injury or death.
5. Mishandling flexible endoscopes after disinfection can lead to patient infections.
6. Confusing dose rate with flow rate can lead to infusion pump medication errors.
7. Improper customization of physiologic monitor alarm settings may result in missed alarms.
8. Injury risk from overhead patient lift systems.
9. Cleaning fluid seeping into electrical components can lead to equipment damage and fires.
10. Flawed battery charging systems and practices can affect device operation.

The full report includes descriptions of each of the hazards as well as step-by-step solutions.

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