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

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

Rethinking Incident Investigations in Aging Services

Decisions made and actions taken in the first minutes and hours after an incident occurs in an aging services organization set the stage for everything else that follows. For instance, consider this hypothetical scenario:

A resident falls out of a lift, breaking a hip, but it is unclear what caused the fall. The lift is briefly checked by the staff involved, and they see nothing wrong, so the lift is not removed from service while the incident is investigated further. The next day, another resident falls from the same lift in a similar manner.

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Topics: Accident Investigation, Aging/Continuum of Care

Diagnosing Communication Gaps in Diagnostic Test Reporting

In the United States, there are 30 times more outpatient visits as hospital discharges. As a result of the high volumes and complexities inherent to ambulatory settings, one in twenty patients can expect to experience a diagnostic error in their lifetime. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 55 percent of patients said that diagnostic errors were a chief concern to them. 

Earlier this fall, ECRI Institute Patient Safety Organization took an in-depth look at patient safety events in ambulatory care, specifically physician practices and healthcare clinics. Nearly half of the 4,355 analyzed events were related to diagnostic testing. Errors that occur during diagnostic testing can have potentially devastating consequences for patients. The majority of these events occurred after tests had taken place, often due to a gap in communication.

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Topics: Patient Safety, Aging/Continuum of Care

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