ECRI Blog

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, ECRI, Evidence-based decision making, Best-practice evidence-based medicine, Leadership, Public Health, PSO, Medical errors, Patient Safety Organizations, continuous improvement

Five Ways Value Analysis and Supply Chain Leaders Can Improve Transparency

Today’s value analysis leaders face tall orders. They need to focus on process improvements, utilize and embrace digital advancements, and provide greater transparency and visibility during new product evaluation and product standardization requests. Having access to the right combination of tools and information can empower them to accomplish these objectives as they work to balance cost, quality, and outcome goals.

Many of ECRI’s value analysis members confirm the need to support and drive greater transparency in their own value analysis programs. Adding greater visibility can make others feel connected and more actively involved and responsible during the decision-making process. It also provides an opportunity to shape a more integrated clinical support system–one that helps drive evidence-based decisions on new products, technology, and capital projects. Finally, greater visibility can break down silos and alleviate communication barriers, most often common when working across multiple, diverse departments.

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Topics: Supply Chain, Technology Assessment, Value-Based Care Outcomes, ECRI, Evidence-based decision making, Informed Decision-making, Clinically Integrated Supply Chain, Value Analysis Management, Value Analysis, Unbiased Clinical Evidence, Decision-Making Support, Tansparency, Transparent Value Analysis Management

Use a Predictive Replacement Plan to Create a Better Capital Replacement Process—and Include these 6 Questions

We all know the adage, the squeaky wheel gets the oil. It can even apply to your hospital’s capital budget planning exercise.

Capital requests include both replacement items for existing equipment and new or additional purchases, and the process tends to move quickly. Unfortunately, the loudest voices usually get the bulk of the available capital dollars, and smaller departments often are left out.

A Predictive Replacement Plan, or PRP, can streamline this process and provide objective recommendations regarding the replacement of capital equipment in a systemic manner.

A PRP is a deep dive into the capital medical inventory of a health care institution which is then used to develop and coordinate an unbiased 5 or 10-year replacement schedule, based on multiple objective factors, including organizational goals and patient needs. It is not based solely on the age of the equipment or the subjective desire or influence of a department director or physician. A PRP is based on multiple objective factors including device recall data, OEM support, part availability from OEM and aftermarket sources, changing technologies, device utilization, and clinical needs of the clinician.

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Topics: Health Devices, Supply Chain, Equipment Planning, Technology Assessment, ECRI, Evidence-based decision making, Leadership, Vaccines, Inventory, predictive replacement planning, Thought Leadership

Supply Chain Shortages Ranked Second Among Top 10 Risks Facing Healthcare Organizations

Posted by Edward Nuber, Director of Marketing, ECRI on Jan 28, 2022

ECRI’s Top 10 Health Technology Hazards for 2022 ranks supply chain shortages among the top three risks facing healthcare organizations. The ranking is for good reason: patient lives may be at risk if essential medical supplies and equipment are unavailable. This risk increases as global supply chain disruption continues to impact healthcare organizations. According to an October 2021 report on healthcare performance, at least 80 percent of hospitals reported supply shortages.

Shortages can stem from the impact of the pandemic, which has sometimes brought manufacturing to a halt. Others are the result of vulnerabilities in traditional supply chain planning, such as keeping limited amounts of products in storage and relying on fast delivery. Weather events and other force majeure incidents also play a role. Together, these create a cascade effect that causes many healthcare organizations to struggle to locate, purchase, and obtain supplies:  

  • Raw material shortages increase prices and reduce output. For example, shortages of resin impact the availability of plastic and magnesium shortages affect the availability of aluminum – causing issues for manufacturers.
  • Suppliers who rely heavily on offshore manufacturers that have been disrupted by the pandemic or global weather events need to find supplies elsewhere.
  • Supply chain practices and other pressures reduced organizations’ stockpiles of critical supplies. “Just-in-time’ supply chain models, designed to reduce the need for physical inventory, are upended when products can’t be sourced or delivered on time.  
  • Logistical challenges, such as ongoing trucking, shipping, and delivery issues brought on by the pandemic, delay delivery of critical supplies.  
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Topics: Risk Management, Health Devices, Supply Chain, Technology Trends, Equipment Planning, COVID-19, Clinical Excellence, ECRI, Clinical Evidence Assessment, Evidence-based decision making, Value-based care, Best-practice evidence-based medicine, Leadership, Inventory

Addressing Discharge Delays as Opportunity for Healthcare Efficiency Gains and Safety Gains

This position statement provides real time information to support policy decisions. This excerpt is from “Rethinking Patient Discharge: A Low-cost Opportunity for Healthcare Efficiency Gains” (Caligiuri C, Penzo-Mendez A, Mueller B. 2021 Dec). 

Patient discharge delays are a source of healthcare inefficiencies

Frustration over hospital discharge delays and the bottlenecks they create are a familiar experience to patients and staff. Hours are wasted while inpatients wait to leave, staff wait for free beds, and new patients wait for initial evaluation in overcrowded emergency departments (EDs). In addition to causing revenue losses, discharge delays may put patients at risk. Anxiety, depression, physical decline from immobility, and risks of infections, bedsores, and falls all increase the longer the patient stays in the hospital, and clinical studies show higher morbidity and mortality in patients whose discharge is delayed. ED overcrowding can lead to serious adverse events from delayed critical care and medical errors, and some patients may become so frustrated that they choose to leave before being seen.

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Topics: Patient Safety, Clinical Excellence, Evidence-based decision making

Use Inventory Standardization to Improve Your Safety and Recall Alerts Program

Posted by Edward Nuber, Director of Marketing, ECRI on Nov 18, 2021
To make good decisions efficiently, organizations need good data.

We’ve all heard the idiom that one should “compare apples to apples; not apples to oranges. But what if you are not calling all of your apples by the name apple, or oranges by the name orange?

Or, here’s another way to think about it: Having mismatched data is like having an unorganized closet—you can’t find anything when you need it, you waste time searching, lose money in new purchases, and the closet gets messier as time goes on.

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Topics: Evidence-based decision making, Inventory Standardization, Product Recalls, data, Dirty Data, Inventory, predictive replacement planning

Leadership Means Never Going It Alone

As president and CEO of the nation’s largest patient safety organization, I had the privilege of leading ECRI through a dangerous time for humanity. Overnight, the insidious COVID-19 virus sent our 500-plus employees home to work remotely, but we never missed a beat. We were resilient; and we focused on searching for answers that would mean the difference between life and death for millions of people infected with SARS-CoV-2.

When the Philadelphia Business Journal honored me as a Healthcare Leader for 2021, I was humbled and grateful, but I knew the award belonged to and was representative of the extraordinary work that ECRI’s employees undertook to provide assurance to our global healthcare constituents and to make patients and healthcare providers safer in a time of crisis.

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Topics: Patient Safety, Diversity and Inclusion, COVID-19, Vaccine Acceptance, ECRI, Evidence-based decision making, Value-based care, Leadership, Healthcare Leader, Pandemic Leadership, Vaccines

Masks in Schools? Findings of ECRI's Evidence-Based Assessment Report

Some 18 months after the COVID-19 pandemic altered daily life, it continues to influence how people in the U.S. and across the globe live, play, work, and educate children.

COVID’s Delta variant, a highly contagious, more infectious strain has led to increased transmissibility when compared with other variants and prompted the U.S. to renew the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Declaration. Delta has caused an increased number of cases, including breakthrough cases in some vaccinated people, as well as rising hospitalizations, especially in regions with low vaccination rates.

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Topics: COVID-19, Evidence-Based Medicine, Clinical Evidence Assessment, Evidence-based decision making

Inadequate Maternal Health Care Results in 300,000 Preventable Deaths Annually

Posted by Edward Nuber, Director of Marketing, ECRI on Sep 27, 2021

Giving birth is one of the most natural parts of life. But for too many women, giving birth can be dangerous, and lead to infections, illness, and even death. More than 300,000 women worldwide die from childbirth each year; in the U.S. that number is approximately 700 women per year.

Fundamental healthcare equity issue 

ECRI recently participated in World Patient Safety Day: Safe Maternal and Newborn Care, and joined the call for Safe Maternal and Newborn Care, calling it “the most fundamental healthcare issue there is, and indeed, the most fundamental human rights issue.”

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Topics: Patient Safety, Evidence-based decision making, Best-practice evidence-based medicine, Maternal and newborn health, Healthcare inequity

A Better Way to Manage Your Supply Chain Needs

Posted by Edward Nuber, Director of Marketing, ECRI on Aug 25, 2021

During the past year, we were reminded of the critical role that supply chain plays in clinical care and overall operations. While our industry has adapted and grown to weather the COVID crisis, now is no time to return to business as usual. The roller coaster ride has slowed, but not stopped; supply chain still faces tremendous challenges such as product shortages, geo-political implications, increased costs, longer delivery times, worker shortages, lack of transparency, and other inventory challenges. Consider the following:

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Topics: Supply Chain, Technology Trends, Equipment Planning, Clinical Excellence, Evidence-Based Medicine, Clinical Evidence Assessment, Evidence-based decision making, Value-based care, Best-practice evidence-based medicine

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