ECRI Unveils Top 10 Health Technology Hazards

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media , November 14, 2011

Staff may also skip some parts of the inspection because they don't understand its importance or mistakenly believe that the step is being performed by another person, or the unit's semi-automated self-check. ECRI recommends that full inspections of anesthesia units be undertaken every day before the first case of the day, and that subsequent checks throughout the day include the manufacture's prescribed abbreviated check for that model anesthesia unit.


ECRI also recommends that facility policy should clearly state which staff members are responsible for performing the checks, that the check list be readily available to staff, that the findings are documented, and that the checks are expanded to include airway suctioning equipment and manual resuscitators.

10. Poor usability of home-sue medical devices

More people are receiving care in their homes. That limits supervision of caregivers and equipment. "Often, devices that are used in the home are not designed with the lay user in mind," the report says. "They are frequently very difficult to use or very complex, and in fact may sometimes be identical to devices used in the hospital by clinicians."

ECRI recommends that homebound patients, their families, and their caregivers first be evaluated to determine their technical competency before prescribing medical equipment for the home. ECRI also recommends that patients and their families be given educational materials about their medical equipment, and contact information with the provider should problems arise.

See Also:
Rise in MRI Calamities Highlighted at FDA Safety Session

John Commins is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media.
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