ECRI Blog

Keep Healthcare Workers Safe to Improve Patient Safety

Healthcare workers face work-related risks, illnesses, and injuries, and patient safety is directly tied to worker safety. Creating a culture of safety is crucial.

ECRI, and its affiliate, the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP), proudly joined global leaders in supporting World Patient Safety Day 2020, held September 17. Now in its second year, World Patient Safety Day was founded by the World Health Organization (WHO) to recognize patient safety as a global health priority. At its inception, all 194 WHO Member States endorsed the establishment of the day with the objectives of increasing public awareness and engagement, enhancing global understanding, and spurring global solidarity and action to promote patient safety.

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Topics: Patient Safety, Aging/Continuum of Care

ECRI Stands for Aging Services

The stakes are high in medicine and healthcare – they pertain to life and death, as the current pandemic has reminded us on an hourly basis. This is especially true when it comes to those who care for our older adults, given their high vulnerability to COVID-19. For many older adults, this illness has proven deadly.

Rightfully, given the potential for harm, aging services providers are held to high standards and expectations. We are taught to focus on what went wrong and fix it; every aspect of quality assurance in our industry is built on a platform that looks for “deficiencies” in care and service delivery, investigates them, and demands correction. Yet that is only part of an effective process that builds communities conducive to providing quality care that promotes health and well-being.

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Topics: Patient Safety, Aging/Continuum of Care

ECRI Statement on Equitable Distribution of COVID-19 Vaccine

Posted by ECRI Executive Committee on Sep 4, 2020

The National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) just released a draft framework on equitable allocation of COVID-19 vaccine. The NASEM has published this publicly for review and comments.

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Topics: Patient Safety, Diversity and Inclusion

ECRI’s COO in Modern Healthcare: Use Supply Chain to Achieve Care Goals and Preparedness

It’s a critical time for healthcare leaders as they face new challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic and continued declining reimbursements. In a recent Modern Healthcare article, ECRI’s Executive VP and COO, Tony Montagnolo, was featured alongside other industry leaders on the topic of COVID-19 and the market pressures thought to be reshaping procurement. Here’s what he shared with Modern Healthcare on his vision and strategies for reaching value-based care goals and wisely preparing your health care system for the future.

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Topics: Patient Safety, Supply Chain, Technology Assessment

Using Technology to Facilitate the Integration of Behavioral Health with Primary Care: The Importance of Data Sharing

Posted by Mark J. Segal, PhD, FHIMSS on Aug 5, 2020

A Continuing Inside Look into the Partnership Workgroup on Optimizing Health IT for Safe Integration of Behavioral Health and Primary Care

"Integration" of behavioral health and primary care is a promising approach to enhancing care, enabling patient safety and improving quality. Technology-enabled tools, including electronic health records (EHRs), clinical decision support, and standards-based interoperability, can enable integration to achieve these goals.

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Topics: Patient Safety, Partnership for Health IT

Taking a Stand against Racial Injustice

Posted by ECRI Employees on Jul 17, 2020

Tightly woven into ECRI’s DNA is the imperative to speak truth to power, based on facts and evidence. The facts are that for centuries in the United States, racism has caused historic and acute trauma and untold pain, suffering, and justified anger.

The senseless death of George Floyd in Minneapolis this past May has reignited a worldwide movement against racism, inequality, and inequity. This movement speaks volumes, as people from many nations raise their voices in unison and move to take action against racism.

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Topics: Diversity and Inclusion

Reducing the Noise from Alerts, Alarms, and Notifications

When technology entered healthcare, so too did alerts. Alerts acted as attention grabbers, reminders, notices of changes in a patient's condition, and warnings about malfunctions or improper functioning. As technology grew more prevalent with the advent of automated dispensing cabinets, computerized provider order entry (CPOE), digital point-of-care monitors and devices, and electronic health records (EHRs), the number of alerts grew exponentially. Clinicians were exposed not only to their own patients' alerts, but to all of the alerts or alarms sounding within a particular unit. The number of per-patient alerts can be astounding. One facility determined that in its critical care unit, "between 150 to 400 physiologic monitoring alarms" sounded per patient, per day.1 This cacophony is compounded by alerts triggered by electronic records.

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Topics: Patient Safety, Partnership for Health IT

How to Use Technology to Facilitate the Integration of Behavioral Health with Primary Care

An Inside Look into the Current Partnership Workgroup

COVID-19 anxiety is increasingly part of our everyday lives. The resulting disruptions in daily routines can create or worsen anxiety and raise other mental and behavioral health concerns. In the best of times, behavioral health conditions are often underdiagnosed and undertreated. According to Jetelina et al., every year "26% of the United States population experiences an emotional, mental, or behavioral health problem."1 In addition to the current events triggering these conditions, behavioral health issues can also be associated with chronic medical conditions such as diabetes,2 cardiovascular disease, and substance use disorder (SUD).3

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Topics: Patient Safety, Partnership for Health IT, Primary Care, Behavioral Health

Healthcare Acquired Infection Risks from Worker Fingernails and Polish

Infection prevention is of vital concern right now, and reducing disease transmission between healthcare workers (HCWs) and patients is critical for patient safety. 

One source of danger to patient safety is infection from healthcare workers who wear artificial nails or nail polish.

Appropriate policies are required to help mitigate infection risk in hospitals and other healthcare settings. HAIs are a concern not only in hospitals; infections can be acquired in any healthcare setting (e.g. physicians’ offices, clinics, dialysis facilities, nursing homes, and rehabilitation centers) when patients encounter bacteria, fungi, or viruses while receiving treatment for unrelated conditions.

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Topics: Risk Management, Industry Trends, Patient Safety, Aging/Continuum of Care

Four Ways to Say No to Adverse Drug Reactions

The seeds of an adverse drug interaction can be planted at any point in the care process, by any of the individuals involved. For instance, take a look at these common scenarios:

  • A clinician, overwhelmed by meaningless alerts, overrides a warning and misses crucial information about a patient's drug allergy.
  • A physician office's electronic health record (EHR) system enters the correct drug allergy information, but the pharmacist is unaware of the information.
  • A young adult patient is allergic to an antibiotic, but doesn't know exactly what happened when he took the antibiotic as a child and he doesn't mention it when being treated for pneumonia.

The chances that any one of these situations may occur is increasing.

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Topics: Patient Safety, Partnership for Health IT

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