ECRI Blog

Incident Management Systems Are Essential For Any Healthcare Facility

Posted by Edward Nuber, Director of Marketing, ECRI on Sep 27, 2022

Regardless of the type of healthcare facility you manage—a hospital, an assisted living center, or an ambulatory care establishment—incident management for patient safety should be a primary focus of your organization. By taking time to assess patient safety, produce incident reports when accidents or infections occur, and understand the causes of various accidents, you can offer a better quality of care over time. That being said, it's important to know what you can gain by finding the proper incident reporting and management system for your organization. If you want to provide better healthcare for your patients and support risk managers, clinicians, and other healthcare professionals, consider the many benefits of an effective incident management system.

1. It allows you to identify trends in common medical errors

There are certain accidents that might only occur once, becoming an outlier in your organization's medical history; however, it's more common for specific types of incidents to occur repeatedly. An effective incident management system allows you to identify trends in common medical errors as your staff inputs incident reports. Whether you encounter medication safety issues, healthcare-associated infections, or even safety issues such as frequent falls among older adults, incident reporting and management can help you identify these trends so that you can take action.

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Topics: Aging and ASC

Functional Equivalents for Surgical Staplers: See ECRI's List Here

While COVID-19 has waned, it has not yet disappeared. Schools, community leaders, and healthcare providers continue to closely “watch the numbers” to ascertain local infection rates and take actions and precautions accordingly. While they do that, business leaders, especially those in the healthcare industry, continue to watch another indicator—the supply chain and its disruptions.

In addition to the pandemic, several other forces have continued to disrupt the supply chain. Recent labor strikes, worker shortages, production slow-downs or stoppages, and war continue to impact the supply chain. To date, the healthcare industry and general public have experienced shortages in personal protective equipment (PPE), baby formula, and now surgical staplers.

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Topics: Supply Chain

Medication Safety and Error Prevention: Efforts Should Focus on Systems Solutions

Posted by Edward Nuber, Director of Marketing, ECRI on Sep 13, 2022

Many people take medicine without enough thought to medication safety issues, such as following dosage directions, being aware of medication interactions and side-effects, or weighing other important considerations.

With the sheer volume of medicines taken every day, there is ample opportunity for harm to occur.

In the U.S. alone, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)/ National Center for Health Statistics estimated that:

  • About 50% of Americans use at least one prescription drug daily; 24% use three or more; and 12.8% use five or more prescription drugs
  • 860.4 million prescriptions are written during physician office visits
  • 336 million drugs are given or prescribed during hospital emergency department visits

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Topics: Patient Safety

How to Improve Your Organization's Approach to Healthcare Incident Management

Accidents, outbreaks, and other incidents regularly occur in healthcare settings. This is not surprising to most healthcare providers, including those working in aging services and ambulatory care facilities.

But acknowledging that incidents will happen can be the impetus behind taking precautions to prevent them. With effective incident management systems and protocols in place, your team can create a culture of safety and security that helps protects patient and staff health, as well as your institution’s reputation and financial stability.

But what does a good incident management system look like? How can you improve your system, and where can you get fact-based, reliable support that will help your team build a better incident prevention and management system?

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Topics: Aging and ASC

The Role of Supply Chain in Healthcare

Posted by Edward Nuber, Director of Marketing, ECRI on Aug 30, 2022

Supply chains are frequently discussed, but what is their role in delivering safe and effective care across hospitals, aging care services, and ambulatory care facilities? Awareness of supply chains increased during the COVID-19 pandemic due to the fact that lockdowns were being implemented globally, slowing down the manufacturing of new products, and interrupting the import and export of goods. Supply chains play a role in every industry, but those in healthcare might not have the in-depth understanding of supply chains that they should. No matter what type of health facilities you operate or healthcare services you offer, let's take a closer look at what roles the healthcare supply chain plays in your organization.

What is a healthcare supply chain?

A healthcare supply chain refers to the network of systems, companies, and individuals involved in the healthcare industry and health services. From the raw production of ingredients necessary to make medications to the prescription drugs actually given to patients, everyone plays a role in the healthcare supply chain. Supply chains feature a range of global players, and planning plays a major role in ensuring that everything is operating smoothly. This is why, when faced with a serious illness like COVID-19 that prevented healthcare products from being produced or delivered, the supply chain was able to be impacted so easily. Without the supply chain, the healthcare industry would simply not function.

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Topics: Supply Chain

How to Prevent the Spread of Infection in Healthcare Settings

Posted by Edward Nuber, Director of Marketing, ECRI on Aug 23, 2022

Hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) are longstanding problems in hospitals and healthcare. These infections can be caused by a variety of pathogens, including bacteria, viruses, and fungi, and can lead to a number of serious complications, including death.

The COVID-19 pandemic changed the way that we think about healthcare as this unprecedented infectious disease not only spread quickly and posed major health issues for the general population, but also encouraged the spread of infections in healthcare facilities across the nations. In fact, recent reports offered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) demonstrate how quickly hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) can become a problem among patients, especially in the face of a pandemic. Research from 2021 reveals that, in comparison to 2019, healthcare settings experienced:

  • Increased incidences of central line-associated bloodstream infections, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteremia, and catheter-associated urinary tract infections
  • Increased device-associated infections as a result of consistently changing safety guidelines and protocols
  • Increased ventilator-associated events in the first quarter and third quarter of 2021

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Topics: Patient Safety

Managing Monkeypox: Take 3 Steps Now to Protect Patients and Staff

After three long years of managing COVID-19, the world is facing another public health crisis: monkeypox.

According to the World Health Organization, “Monkeypox is a viral zoonotic disease that occurs primarily in tropical rainforest areas of central and West Africa, and is occasionally exported to other regions.” Humans can get monkeypox through close contact with an infected person or animal, or with contaminated material. In turn, they can spread it to other humans through close contact with lesions, respiratory droplets, body fluids, and contaminated items such as sheets and pillowcases. Monkeypox usually causes a fever, a painful rash that turns into blisters, and swollen lymph nodes.

In May of this year, cases of monkeypox became more wide-spread, especially in regions not typically known to experience the disease. Monkeypox was identified in 89 counties, 82 of which historically have not had monkeypox outbreaks. In the United States, cases have been identified in all but one state, with 11,890 cases total. More than 500 cases each have been identified in Florida, California, Georgia, and Illinois. On August 4, 2022, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) declared monkeypox a public health emergency.

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Topics: Patient Safety

RECALL: Palindrome and Mahurkar Hemodialysis Catheters and How to Find Alternative Products

Recently, Covidien, LLC, a subsidiary of Medtronic, recalled Palindrome and Mahurkar hemodialysis catheters due to a catheter hub defect. Once again, we are reminded that patient safety and supply chain are not separate parts of healthcare that should function independently of each other. Rather, their interdependence is vital to increasing patient safety and optimizing clinical outcomes; creating efficient, safe, and successful working environments; and maintaining the fiscal viability of healthcare facilities, be they large or small, private or public.

The COVID-19 pandemic brought this simmering issue to the surface, and healthcare provider organizations are getting smarter about preparing for the unexpected and strengthening their supply chains. ECRI has long offered such advice and support, and we continue to expand and strengthen our guidance, specifically in the area of providing trustworthy, independent functional equivalent information and  vendor information that is available quickly, easily, and cost-effectively—most importantly, it’s reliable information.

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Topics: Supply Chain

ECRI Experts Support Healthcare Supply Chain Professionals at the Upcoming AHRMM Conference

In today’s challenging healthcare market, it’s important to take opportunities to learn all you can to advance patient care, outcomes, and financial stability in your organization.

ECRI is proud to be an in-person exhibitor (booth 421) at the Association for Health Care Resource & Materials Management (AHRMM) conference August 7 to 10 in Anaheim, CA. to support healthcare supply chain professionals.

ECRI’s own Reggie Jackson will be a featured speaker on the topic: How Inconclusive Clinical Evidence Creates Opportunity For Physician Engagement.

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Topics: Supply Chain

3 Ways ECRI’s New Functional Equivalents Report Will Help YOU Master Supply Chain Disruptions

The supply chain issues of the last couple years show little signs of improving. Production slowdowns or stoppages, worker shortages, escalating costs, transportation issues, war, weather and other difficulties will continue. But what is improving is the ability of those in the healthcare sector to better plan for expected and unexpected challenges.

Buzz words such as cross functional integration in supply chain management and equipment equivalency guidelines or functional equivalence examples, are now part of the vernacular. And that’s a good thing; it means we’ve learned from the challenging experiences of the pandemic, and we are now better prepared to continue to navigate COVID-19, Monkey-pox, natural disasters, or whatever other hardships come our way.

A key trait shared by the healthcare facilities that have best learned how to navigate today’s supply chain is a willingness to do things differently, to partner with supply chain leaders, such as ECRI, or with “sister facilities” and even competitors. These partnerships have led to greater knowledge, insights, resource sharing, and support than ever before. And, organizations are refining and formalizing guidance.

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Topics: Supply Chain

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