ECRI Blog

Edward Nuber, Director of Marketing, ECRI

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How to Prepare for and Manage Supply Chain Disruptions in Healthcare

Healthcare organizations are some of the most complex and critical in the world. Supply chain disruptions in healthcare can have a ripple effect on patients, staff, and the community at large. So, whether you are running a health system, hospital network, aging services facility, or ambulatory care center, supply chain disruptions are crucial to understanding your organization as a whole. 

A supply chain is a complex network of individuals and companies that design, manufacture, distribute, and consume healthcare products. Because supply chains are so complex, it's easy for disruptions to occur. Some disruptions are due to labor strikes, transportation issues such as weather-related traffic jams or port closures, supplier bankruptcies, and product recalls. Other reasons could be that a company is sourcing products from a region that's experiencing political instability or if they rely on a limited number of suppliers. 

This can leave you without the necessary supplies or medications that you need to provide the level of care your patients deserve. That being said, there are ways that providers and healthcare facilities can prepare for these disruptions. If you're looking to navigate supply chain changes more effectively, keep reading for tips on preparedness and management strategies you can employ.

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Topics: Supply Chain

8 Steps to Address Racial Bias in Healthcare

Woman sitting on sofa at therapy with doctor taking notesECRI this year named Bias and Racism in Addressing Patient Safety as number three on its annual list of Top 10 Patient Safety Concerns. Racial and ethnic disparities have been well documented, and while some progress has been made, the problem is pervasive, persistent, and damaging.

These disparities affect:

  • Patient access to care
  • Patient safety
  • Quality of care and clinical outcomes
  • The frequency and consistency with which reports of adverse events are filed
  • The level of responsiveness when adverse events are reported
  • Patient health, well-being, and life expectancy

Research shows that patients who are members of racial and ethnic minority groups experience barriers that limit their access to care, and affect the quality of their care, more frequently than non-minorities; this includes having an increased risk of being uninsured or underinsured, lacking access to care, and experiencing worse health outcomes for conditions that are treatable and even preventable. 

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Topics: Patient Safety

Accidents Happen, but They Shouldn't Define the Care You Provide

Posted by Edward Nuber, Director of Marketing, ECRI on Oct 18, 2022

When working in aging services facilities, ambulatory care, or hospitals, accidents can happen during patient treatments, in the patient environment, or in other scenarios. However, accidents need not become commonplace, compromising your healthcare facilities and the level of care you provide. Instead, by taking time to learn from these accidents and discover the right solutions, you can keep patients safer and further your organization's goals.

What types of accidents might your patients encounter? How can you work to reduce these accidents and foster a greater culture of safety for your patients? Let's examine some of the most common hospital accidents, how you can avoid them, and how ECRI can support you in your journey to better healthcare.

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Topics: Patient Safety

Medical Incident Reports Improve Healthcare. How and When to File Them

Posted by Edward Nuber, Director of Marketing, ECRI on Oct 11, 2022

Medical incident reports are essential to improving patient safety and correcting medical errors that could cause harm to future patients. Today's healthcare establishments, such as hospitals, aging care services, and ambulatory care facilities, need an incident control and management system in order to gain further insight into these medical incidents and to conduct effective risk management procedures. Although the concept of recording healthcare incidents and taking action to prevent them might seem relatively straightforward, staff members could have many questions. See below for what healthcare providers need to know about filing incident reports to make the process easier for everyone involved.

The what, when, and why of filing incident reports

When you have the proper management system, filing an incident report becomes easier. However, you need to identify the essential elements that go into filing a report before you integrate these systems into your existing processes. Whether the incident involves an adverse event, problems with patient care, or serious injury, here are a few helpful instructions for healthcare organizations about how to ensure that reports are filed correctly.

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Topics: Patient Safety

Four Ways to Prevent and Control Hospital-Acquired Infections

When a patient comes to your facilities for healthcare, they expect that you can effectively address the issue quickly and with ease and expertise. Now, imagine that this same individual ends up receiving an infection while under your care. The spread of infection in healthcare environments, as well as how it affects both your patients and your healthcare workers, is an important topic to evaluate, especially if these types of incidents happen frequently. Below, we'll dive deeper into insightful statistics regarding infection in healthcare facilities, how infections spread and how they can be addressed, and why reaching out to hospital infection control consultants can help you improve your approach to infection control and prevention.

Why is infection control so important? The statistics behind hospital-acquired infections.

Hospital-acquired infections (HAI) or healthcare-associated infections may occur more frequently than expected, perhaps because patient care might not be as satisfactory as many healthcare professionals believe. The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that approximately 1.7 million patients contract HAIs annually while receiving treatment for issues unrelated to the infection that they've contracted. Even more troubling, approximately 98,000 of these individuals (about 1 in 17) die as a result of their infection. 

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Topics: Patient Safety

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 Ambulatory Care

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 Ambulatory Care

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

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