ECRI Blog

Preventing Harm Requires Supply Chain Resilience: Emergency Preparedness and Planning beyond Acute Care

The COVID-19 pandemic has focused attention on healthcare emergency preparedness and response demonstrating real-time, the correlation between emergency preparedness and the safety and quality of care and services. But emergency preparedness did not begin with the pandemic—nor do the lessons stop there. The pandemic provided sobering evidence that these correlations exist beyond acute care, as demonstrated in other settings such as ambulatory and especially aging care.

Other highly-disruptive forces have increased the urgency for more robust emergency planning and response across the all care settings. An increasing frequency of threats from potentially life-threatening emergencies such as hurricanes, tornados, wildfires, severe flooding, and even cyberattacks now need consideration in every provider organization’s emergency preparedness and response efforts.

Any of these emergencies and related hazards require organizations to move from routine to non-routine operating environments. The ensuing disruption of continuity of care and services leads to a myriad of risks and opportunities for harm.

A critical area of operations which is often overlooked until an emergency occurs is purchasing and supply chain management—and when an emergency occurs it’s too late to effectively respond. Not having the right types and amounts of medications, supplies, and equipment available when needed creates real harm for not only persons served, but also the workforce who shoulders the burden of delivering the care and services throughout an emergency. Additionally, these risks extend enterprisewide, opening up an organization to real financial and reputational harm.

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Topics: Aging and ASC

What is Near-Miss Reporting? And How Can it Save Lives?

The ECRI and ISMP Patient Safety Organization has reached a milestone: more than 5 million events reported since its inception. However, two thirds of the reports were about actual events that reached the patient. Only 15% were labeled as “near miss” events, incidences that were "close calls." This is despite the well-known fact that near miss events are 10 to 100 times more common than actual events. Why is that?

Patient safety experts have long emphasized the necessity of creating a culture in which healthcare providers can freely report errors or other potentially avoidable events. This information can be protected by submitting the report, and all the investigations associated with it, to a patient safety organization (PSO). An exception exists only for events that must be reported to the state or an accreditation agency, but even there, any investigations and deliberations are protected when reported to a PSO under the Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005.

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Topics: Patient Safety

ECRI Helps You Manage GE Healthcare Omnipaque Contrast Dye Shortages

Posted by Edward Nuber, Director of Marketing, ECRI on May 24, 2022

As with personal protective equipment (PPE), infant formula, and toilet paper, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause supply chain disruptions—this time causing an Omnipaque shortage. The contrast dye shortage has resulted in reduction and/or delays of the availability of Omnipaque (Iohexol) and Visipague (Idixonal).

These contrast dyes are needed for some imaging tests, including computed tomography (CT scans), which are often used to help diagnose tumors, investigate internal bleeding, or check for other internal injuries or damage and computed tomography angiography (CTA scans), often used in emergency cases, including diagnosis of strokes, aneurysms, and for cardiovascular procedures. During imaging tests, the dyes create contrast in body parts and fluids, making it easier to read scans and diagnose illness and conditions.

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Topics: Supply Chain

Abbott Infant Formula Shortage: 3 ECRI Recommendations

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

Infant formula shortage is all over the news. The White House is taking emergency actions, while mothers, fathers and families are feeling the brunt of the shortage.  

On February 17, 2022, Abbott initiated a proactive, voluntary recall of powder formulas, including Similac, Alimentum and EleCare manufactured in Sturgis, Michigan, because of possible Cronobacter sakazakii or Salmonella Newport contamination.

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Topics: Supply Chain

We See You: ECRI Recognizes Exceptional Health Technology Management

Posted by Edward Nuber, Director of Marketing, ECRI on May 10, 2022

A popular folk musician once said, “You just get the vibe of your surroundings, and it rubs off on you.” Indeed, surroundings are very important; and when a pleasing aesthetic melds with functionality “the vibe” gets even better, and so does effectiveness. Such innovation helps drive success, and in healthcare, it even helps improve the patient experience, cost management, staff satisfaction, and outcomes.

This year, the winner of ECRI’s annual Health Technology Excellence Award (formerly known as the Health Devices Achievement Award) has demonstrated a high commitment to innovation resulting in improvements that will advance both patient care and comfort. ECRI proudly named McLaren Northern Michigan the winner for the member facility’s exceptional initiative to improve patient safety, reduce costs, or otherwise facilitate better strategic management of health technology.

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Topics: Public Health

5 Traits to Help Your Team Become a High Reliability Organization

Achieving the status “High Reliability Organization (HRO)” is now the gold standard for healthcare organizations, but there is little agreement on how to achieve it. To help you move your organization toward this important goal, let’s try to make that term clearer. Authors Weick and Sutcliffe first used the phrase in their 2001 book, Managing the Unexpected, now in its 3rd revision (Weick, K. E., & Sutcliffe, K. M., 2015 Managing the unexpected, John Wiley & Sons).

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Topics: Patient Safety

ECRI's Health Technology Excellence Award: Recognizing Exceptional Health Technology Management

Posted by Edward Nuber, Director of Marketing, ECRI on Apr 26, 2022

A popular folk musician once said, “You just get the vibe of your surroundings, and it rubs off on you.” Indeed, surroundings are very important; and when a pleasing aesthetic melds with functionality “the vibe” gets even better, and so does effectiveness. Such innovation helps drive success, and in healthcare, it even helps improve the patient experience, cost management, staff satisfaction, and outcomes.

This year, the winner of ECRI’s annual Health Technology Excellence Award (formerly known as the Health Devices Achievement Award) has demonstrated a high commitment to iinnovation resulting in improvements that will advance both patient care and comfort. ECRI proudly named McLaren Northern Michigan the winner for the member facility’s exceptional initiative to improve patient safety, reduce costs, or otherwise facilitate better strategic management of health technology.

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Topics: Patient Safety

Why You Need a Patient Safety Organization (PSO)

Healthcare workers want to keep patients safe and provide high quality care. Unfortunately, despite best intentions, erroneous, substandard, and unequal care are still too common, harming 1 in 10 hospitalized patients in the US. Today’s evidence-based Patient Safety Organizations (PSOs) are working toward zero-avoidable-harm healthcare. Choosing the right PSO can help your organization reach this goal.

The World Health Organization defines Patient Safety as: “A framework of organized activities that creates cultures, processes, procedures, behaviors, technologies and environments in health care that consistently and sustainably lower risks, reduce the occurrence of avoidable harm, make errors less likely and reduce the impact of harm when it does occur.”

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Topics: Patient Safety

Healthcare Heroes Need Help Too: Mental Health Issues Grow with Pandemic Stresses

ECRI this year, named healthcare worker mental health as its second of ten patient safety concerns for 2022.

For years, the healthcare community has known that the stresses of the profession can take a toll on those in direct care roles. Healthcare is hard work, physically and emotionally. Challenges such as staffing shortages, patient load, workplace violence, liaising with other caregivers, patients, and families, and even lack of basic bathroom and meal breaks, can contribute to exhaustion, depression, anxiety, self-doubt, frustration, hopelessness, and fear.

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Topics: Public Health

The “Great Resignation” Hits Healthcare Where it already Hurts: Staffing Shortages

Across industries, the topic of worker shortages has dominated conversations because the COVID-19 pandemic contributed to the “great resignation.” And healthcare is no exception. But in healthcare, the stakes are greater than other industries because patient safety directly correlates to adequate staffing. Issues such as quality of care, medication errors, patient satisfaction, higher patient mortality, overcrowding, and more all can be linked to adequate staffing. With patient safety in mind, ECRI’s Top 10 Patient Safety list names staffing shortages as the number one challenge of the year.

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Topics: Public Health

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