Health IT makes ECRI Institute’s annual top 10 hazards list

It would appears that “Health IT makes ECRI Institute’s annual top 10 hazards list” (original article can be accessed here).

I thought the title was kind of interesting so I dived deeper into the article, which goes like this;

For every problem that health IT might solve, it seems it introduces a few new problems as well. The ECRI Institute, a nonprofit patient safety organization, has released its sixth annual report listing the top health technology hazards for the coming year. This year’s report includes several technology advances that have the potential to cause patient harm.

Top 10 Health Technology Hazards List for 2013 names the following as potential hazards:

1.  Alarm hazards;
2.  Medication administration errors using infusion pumps;
3.  Unnecessary radiation exposures and radiation burns during diagnostic radiology procedures;
4.  Patient/data mismatches in EHRs and other health IT systems; and
5.  Interoperability failures with medical devices and health IT systems.

The hazards included in the 2013 list, published in the November issue of ECRI Institute’s Health Devices journal, met one or all of the following criteria: it has resulted in injury or death; it has occurred frequently; it can affect a large number of individuals; it is difficult to recognize; it’s had high-profile, widespread news coverage; and there are clear steps for hospitals to take now to minimize these risks.

ECRI Institute also offers its web-based Health Technology Hazard Self-Assessment Tool, which provides a facility or department risk factor ratings of low, medium or high related to each of the top 10 hazards. Healthcare organizations can then use the information to help prioritize their efforts to address the hazards. The tool also provides facility- and department-specific recommendations for mitigating the risks associated with each of the top hazards.

Access the complete report online.

While there are some bearings to the report, I think ERCI missed the point. What has been listed are obviously bad implementations of healthcare IT and when you apply technology in a snobby manner, you get bad implementations, that doesn’t mean the technology is bad, it may be complicated, it might actually require high IQ and analytical abilities to implement it properly but that doesn’t necessary translates to the technology being bad.

Replace the technology with fire, nuclear, hydro, cars (driving), cooking.. anything (seriously, anything) and apply them ineffectively and it too would be deem as a hazard.

In other words, its  the execution that is wrong – its that simple, and if one cannot see the real problem, then one cannot fix it.

Makes sense?

About Adam Chee

Health Informatician
This entry was posted in Blog - Health IT and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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