ECRI Blog

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

ECRI's Top 10 Patient Safety Risks for 2022

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

An important part of maintaining patient safety is establishing the shared belief that despite the high-risk environment in healthcare, patient safety is possible, and it’s everyone’s responsibility. Creating awareness of common problems and opening a dialogue about prevention, learning, and solutions can help.

To that end, ECRI annually publishes a list of its top 10 patient safety concerns, and we are pleased to share the 2022 list with you here. ECRI analyzed a wide scope of data, including scientific literature, patient safety events or concerns reported to or investigated by ECRI, client research requests and queries, and other internal and external data sources.

Like it has done to almost everything else in the world, the COVID-19 pandemic has shaped this year’s list. The annual list is usually topped by clinical issues caused by device malfunctions or medical errors. But this year, staffing shortages and healthcare workers’ mental health top a list of patient safety concerns released by ECRI. Inadequate staffing is jeopardizing patient safety. Due to staffing shortages, many patients are waiting longer for care, even in life-threatening emergencies, or simply being turned away.

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Topics: Patient Safety

ECRI Evidence Boot Camp 2021 Recap: Effective Methods for Rapidly Assessing the Best Available Evidence

Posted by Edward Nuber, Director of Marketing, ECRI on Jan 13, 2022

Refresh your evidence assessment knowledge of important topics discussed at ECRI's Evidence boot camp event: Effective Methods for Rapidly Assessing the Best Available Evidence

Healthcare payers, providers, and other audiences gathered this past fall to gain strategic insights in discussion about clinical evidence assessment of healthcare technologies. The event was backed by an experienced team consisting of multi-disciplinary experts across ECRI–PhD-level analysts and directors from Clinical Evidence Assessment, Clinical Excellence, Evidence-based Practice Center; Master-level Librarians; and guest panelists, who made the event interactive and informative.

Key learning objectives included:

  • Demonstrate key clinical evidence concepts

  • Understand considerations for choosing The Evidence Bar™, an at-a-glance visual representation of the balance of benefits and harms, in ECRI’s rapid clinical evidence assessment reports about healthcare technologies

  • Identify real-world evidence examples and considerations in clinical evidence assessment and decision-making

  • Recognize the highest standards and evolving tools employed in ECRI’s rapid assessment of the best available evidence

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Topics: Patient Safety

ECRI Guidance: Legality and Ethics of Refusing to Treat Unvaccinated Patients

Posted by Edward Nuber, Director of Marketing, ECRI on Dec 15, 2021

Two full years after the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus first appeared, the world is still grappling with this highly contagious, infectious disease. The state of the virus has ebbed and flowed: periods of declining spread are followed by the emergence of new variants; the delta variant dominated 2021, and in just the past month, the omicron variant was classified by the World Health Organization as a "variant of concern."

Perhaps the most hopeful development in protecting individuals from severe illness related to COVID-19 has been the advent of several vaccines. They are especially important for those at greatest risk for the worst outcomes of COVID-19, such as the elderly or immunocompromised, as well as healthcare workers whose jobs place them at increased risk of exposure. And yet, vaccine hesitancy remains a challenge in the United States and worldwide. 

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Topics: Patient Safety

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

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 Medicine: A Powerful Tool for Supporting Physician Engagement and Improving Value-Based Care Outcomes

Posted by Edward Nuber, Director of Marketing, ECRI on Jun 18, 2021

Healthcare administrators, value analysis, and clinical leaders constantly strive for greater performance, better clinical outcomes, and higher physician engagement. But while the need to nurture and achieve these priorities all at once remains strong, there is an underlying struggle on how to accomplish these distinct, yet interdependent goals.

Andrew Furman, MD, MMM, FACEP, Executive Director, Clinical Excellence at ECRI delved into these challenges as a featured speaker at the member-only 2021 Spring Vanguard Meeting of the American Association for Physician Leadership held on Friday, June 11.

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Topics: Patient Safety

ECRI Cautions against CMS Blanket Coverage for FDA-designated Breakthrough Devices

In September 2020, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services proposed a rule that would establish a Medicare coverage pathway to provide Medicare beneficiaries nationwide with faster access to new, innovative medical devices designated as breakthrough by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). After the final rule is effective, the Medicare Coverage of Innovative Technology (MCIT) pathway would begin national Medicare coverage on the date of FDA market authorization and would continue for 4 years. Following is an excerpt of ECRI’s submitted public comment.

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Topics: Patient Safety

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