ECRI names 10 health technology hazards for 2017 — infusion errors, scope cleaning top list

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ECRI Institute released its "Top 10 Health Technology Hazards for 2017" report Monday, featuring an array of issues, including infusion errors, inadequate cleaning of complex reusable instruments and infections linked with heater-cooler devices.

"Technology safety can often be overlooked when hospital leaders are dealing with so many other issues," said David Jamison, executive director of ECRI Institute's health devices group. "As an independent medical device testing laboratory and investigator of technology-related incidents, we know what can go wrong and what steps hospitals can take to reduce patient harm related to specific technologies and process."

ECRI Institute's health devices group puts together this list annually, evaluating neither the most frequently reported problems nor the ones that have the most severe consequences, but rather the ones the group believes should have the highest priority currently.

The following are ECRI Institute's 10 picks for top health technology hazards for next year.

1. Infusion errors, like IV free flow, resulting from overlooked simple safety steps

2. Inadequate cleaning of complex reusable instruments

3. Missed ventilator alarms

4. Undetected opioid-induced respiratory depression

5. Infection risks raised by heater-cooler devices used during cardiothoracic surgery

6. Software management gaps

7. Occupational radiation hazards in hybrid ORs

8. Automated dispensing cabinets use and setup errors

9. Surgical stapler misuse and malfunction

10. Device failures caused by cleaning products and practices

Access the full report for strategies on reducing risks associated with these hazards.

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