Potential safety risks with 10 health technologies

At-home medical devices were listed as the nation's most pressing health technology safety issue for 2023, according to ECRI's 2023 recently released hazards list

ECRI, the nation's largest nonprofit patient safety organization, creates an annual report that identifies health technology concerns that warrant attention from patients, healthcare leaders and industry. The report listed the following 10 health tech hazards for 2023:

  1. At-home medical devices: According to the report, recall notices for home-use products often do not reach users, placing patients at serious risk of harm.

  2. Defective single-use medical devices: There is a growing number of defective single-use devices.

  3. Automated dispensing cabinets: Inappropriate use of automated dispensing cabinets can result in medication errors.

  4. Needle dislodgement: An undetected venous needle dislodgement or access-bloodline separation during hemodialysis can lead to death.

  5. Cloud-based clinical systems and cybersecurity: If cloud-based clinical systems are not properly vetted for possible cybersecurity risks, these systems, if hacked, can result in care disruptions, according to the report.

  6. Pressure infusers: Inflatable pressure infusers can deliver fatal air emboli from IV solution bags.

  7. Ventilator cleaning: Cross contamination can occur if ventilator cleaning and disinfection requirements are not clear, according to the report. 

  8. Electrosurgery: Serious burns can occur if misconceptions around electrosurgery persist.

  9. Cardiac telemetry: If cardiac telemetry is overused, it can lead to clinician cognitive overload and missed critical events.

  10. Device-related issues: Underreported device-related issues may risk recurrence, according to the report.

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