ECRI report IDs health IT safety issues for provider execs

Two associations are teaming up to help healthcare executives remain aware of technology safety issues, according to a recent announcement.

The Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) and ECRI Institute have released a report, "Executive Insights on Healthcare Technology Safety," to identify safety-related issues. It gives recommendations on alarm systems, Luer connectors, cybersecurity, batteries and recalls.

Goals of the report include:

  • Synthesizing key insights on safety issues that tell an important story
  • Sharing wisdom on key technology-related issues that merit executives' attention
  • Moving executives to the front end of issues

"Patient safety should be a top priority, and this report educates leaders about the types of questions they should ask to stay in front of any potential technology challenge," AAMI President Mary Logan said in a statement.

Recalls on medical devices are on the rise, making awareness of safety issues of high importance. The number of device recalls grew from 604 in 2003 to 1,190 in 2012, according to a U.S. Food and Drug Administration report published in March.

Efforts also are underway to create a national system to identify safety concerns on technologies like implantable devices and glucose meters. Gregory Daniel, managing director for evidence development and innovation at the Brookings Institution's Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform, is working on development of a "path forward" regarding medical device patient safety.

Healthcare executives also must be aware of how to handle cybersecurity issues, according to the report. Researchers have found that many hospitals leak valuable information online and are "very sloppy" about security efforts.

To learn more:
- read the announcement
- read the report (.pdf)