ECRI Institute Issues 'Top Ten Health Technology Hazards for 2010'

Dec. 2, 2009, PLYMOUTH MEETING, PA-What are the biggest safety hazards hospitals and healthcare facilities should watch out for today? ECRI Institute (, an independent nonprofit that researches the best approaches to patient care, releases its 2010 Top Ten Health Technology Hazards, a list of hazards that healthcare organizations should protect against. The list is available now as a free download.

The list of hazards is updated each year based upon the prevalence and severity of incidents reported to ECRI Institute by healthcare facilities nationwide; information found in the Institute's medical device problem reporting databases; and the judgment, analysis, and expertise of the organization's multidisciplinary staff. Many of the items on this year's list are well-recognized hazards with numerous reported incidents over the years. This list is designed to answer the question, "Where do you start when trying to minimize the risks from healthcare technology?"

The 2010 list, published as a guidance article in the November 2009 issue of ECRI Institute's Health Devices journal, offers information about how the hazards occur with recommendations for prevention, plus a comprehensive resource list for more in-depth information.

Five of the top ten hazards outlined in ECRI Institute's 2010 list are:

  1. Cross-contamination from Flexible Endoscopes
  2. Alarm Hazards
  3. High Radiation Dose from Computed Tomography
  4. Retained Devices and Un-retrieved Fragments Left in Patients
  5. Problems with Computerized Equipment and Systems

"Because these ten technology hazards pose significant danger to patient care, we believe that all hospitals and health systems should prioritize and address them in the coming year," says James P. Keller, Jr., Vice President, Health Technology and Safety, ECRI Institute. "Ideally, we also recommend that hospitals dedicate a part of their patient safety and quality improvements efforts to addressing healthcare technology issues like these."

Healthcare professionals can obtain the complete 2010 list and its recommendations at no cost by using the following link:

The Health Devices journal is provided to members of ECRI Institute's Health Devices System, Health Devices Gold, and SELECTplusTM programs. Health Devices features comparative, brand-name evaluations of medical devices and systems based on extensive laboratory testing and clinical studies. ECRI Institute's evaluations focus on the safety, performance, efficacy, and human factors design of specific medical devices and technologies.

For questions about ECRI Institute's annual list of technology hazards, or for information about membership in the Health Devices System, contact ECRI Institute by mail at 5200 Butler Pike, Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462-1298, USA; by telephone at (610) 825-6000, ext. 5891; by e-mail at [email protected]; or by fax at (610) 834-1275. Contact ECRI Institute's European office at [email protected]; ECRI Institute's Asia-Pacific office at [email protected]; and ECRI Institute's Middle Eastern office at [email protected]

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ECRI Institute (, a nonprofit organization, dedicates itself to bringing the discipline of applied scientific research to healthcare to discover which medical procedures, devices, drugs, and processes are best to enable improved patient care.  As pioneers in this science for more than 40 years, ECRI Institute marries experience and independence with the objectivity of evidence-based research. ECRI Institute is designated a Collaborating Center of the World Health Organization and an Evidence-based Practice Center by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. ECRI Institute PSO, listed as a federally certified Patient Safety Organization by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, strives to achieve the highest levels of safety and quality in healthcare by collecting and analyzing patient safety information and sharing lessons learned and best practices.

For more information, contact:
Laurie Menyo
(610) 825-6000, ext.  5310
[email protected]