ECRI Blog

The Most Common Hospital Accidents and How To Avoid Them

Posted by Christopher Schabowsky, PhD, CCE on Oct 25, 2022

When working in healthcare, it is important to understand what types of accidents might your patients encounter. How can you work to dramatically reduce accidents and foster a greater culture of safety? Here, we'll examine some of the most common hospital accidents, how you can avoid them, and how ECRI can support you in your journey to better healthcare.

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Topics: Patient Safety

Accidents Happen, but They Shouldn't Define the Care You Provide

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

When working in aging services facilities, ambulatory care, or hospitals, accidents can happen during patient treatments, in the patient environment, or in other scenarios. However, accidents need not become commonplace, compromising your healthcare facilities and the level of care you provide. Instead, by taking time to learn from these accidents and discover the right solutions, you can keep patients safer and further your organization's goals.

What types of accidents might your patients encounter? How can you work to reduce these accidents and foster a greater culture of safety for your patients? Let's examine some of the most common hospital accidents, how you can avoid them, and how ECRI can support you in your journey to better healthcare.

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Topics: Patient Safety

Medical Incident Reports Improve Healthcare. How and When to File Them

Posted by Edward Nuber, Director of Marketing, ECRI on Oct 11, 2022

Medical incident reports are essential to improving patient safety and correcting medical errors that could cause harm to future patients. Today's healthcare establishments, such as hospitals, aging care services, and ambulatory care facilities, need an incident control and management system in order to gain further insight into these medical incidents and to conduct effective risk management procedures. Although the concept of recording healthcare incidents and taking action to prevent them might seem relatively straightforward, staff members could have many questions. See below for what healthcare providers need to know about filing incident reports to make the process easier for everyone involved.

The what, when, and why of filing incident reports

When you have the proper management system, filing an incident report becomes easier. However, you need to identify the essential elements that go into filing a report before you integrate these systems into your existing processes. Whether the incident involves an adverse event, problems with patient care, or serious injury, here are a few helpful instructions for healthcare organizations about how to ensure that reports are filed correctly.

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Topics: Patient Safety

Four Ways to Prevent and Control Hospital-Acquired Infections

When a patient comes to your facilities for healthcare, they expect that you can effectively address the issue quickly and with ease and expertise. Now, imagine that this same individual ends up receiving an infection while under your care. The spread of infection in healthcare environments, as well as how it affects both your patients and your healthcare workers, is an important topic to evaluate, especially if these types of incidents happen frequently. Below, we'll dive deeper into insightful statistics regarding infection in healthcare facilities, how infections spread and how they can be addressed, and why reaching out to hospital infection control consultants can help you improve your approach to infection control and prevention.

Why is infection control so important? The statistics behind hospital-acquired infections.

Hospital-acquired infections (HAI) or healthcare-associated infections may occur more frequently than expected, perhaps because patient care might not be as satisfactory as many healthcare professionals believe. The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that approximately 1.7 million patients contract HAIs annually while receiving treatment for issues unrelated to the infection that they've contracted. Even more troubling, approximately 98,000 of these individuals (about 1 in 17) die as a result of their infection. 

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Topics: Patient Safety

Medication Safety and Error Prevention: Efforts Should Focus on Systems Solutions

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

Many people take medicine without enough thought to medication safety issues, such as following dosage directions, being aware of medication interactions and side-effects, or weighing other important considerations.

With the sheer volume of medicines taken every day, there is ample opportunity for harm to occur.

In the U.S. alone, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)/ National Center for Health Statistics estimated that:

  • About 50% of Americans use at least one prescription drug daily; 24% use three or more; and 12.8% use five or more prescription drugs
  • 860.4 million prescriptions are written during physician office visits
  • 336 million drugs are given or prescribed during hospital emergency department visits

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Topics: Patient Safety

How to Prevent the Spread of Infection in Healthcare Settings

Posted by Edward Nuber, Director of Marketing, ECRI on Aug 23, 2022

Hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) are longstanding problems in hospitals and healthcare. These infections can be caused by a variety of pathogens, including bacteria, viruses, and fungi, and can lead to a number of serious complications, including death.

The COVID-19 pandemic changed the way that we think about healthcare as this unprecedented infectious disease not only spread quickly and posed major health issues for the general population, but also encouraged the spread of infections in healthcare facilities across the nations. In fact, recent reports offered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) demonstrate how quickly hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) can become a problem among patients, especially in the face of a pandemic. Research from 2021 reveals that, in comparison to 2019, healthcare settings experienced:

  • Increased incidences of central line-associated bloodstream infections, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteremia, and catheter-associated urinary tract infections
  • Increased device-associated infections as a result of consistently changing safety guidelines and protocols
  • Increased ventilator-associated events in the first quarter and third quarter of 2021

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Topics: Patient Safety

Managing Monkeypox: Take 3 Steps Now to Protect Patients and Staff

After three long years of managing COVID-19, the world is facing another public health crisis: monkeypox.

According to the World Health Organization, “Monkeypox is a viral zoonotic disease that occurs primarily in tropical rainforest areas of central and West Africa, and is occasionally exported to other regions.” Humans can get monkeypox through close contact with an infected person or animal, or with contaminated material. In turn, they can spread it to other humans through close contact with lesions, respiratory droplets, body fluids, and contaminated items such as sheets and pillowcases. Monkeypox usually causes a fever, a painful rash that turns into blisters, and swollen lymph nodes.

In May of this year, cases of monkeypox became more wide-spread, especially in regions not typically known to experience the disease. Monkeypox was identified in 89 counties, 82 of which historically have not had monkeypox outbreaks. In the United States, cases have been identified in all but one state, with 11,890 cases total. More than 500 cases each have been identified in Florida, California, Georgia, and Illinois. On August 4, 2022, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) declared monkeypox a public health emergency.

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Topics: Patient Safety

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

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

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