ECRI Institute is publishing its Top 10 Patient Safety Concerns for Healthcare Organizations

ECRI Institute is publishing its Top 10 Patient Safety Concerns for Healthcare Organizations
By: Karen P. Zimmer, MD, MPH, FAAP

Ever since Dick Clark featured the American Bandstand Top Ten to unveil the 10 most popular songs for the week, such lists have become ubiquitous. We use them to get ideas in selecting music, movies, books, places to visit, things to do, trends to watch, and more.
We could probably identify the top 10 reasons why top 10 lists are so popular, but suffice it to say that the lists give us a way to focus on a particular issue or choice. When we scan a top 10 list, we compare it to our own experiences. Have I heard that song? Seen that movie? Read that book? Visited that place?

This year, ECRI Institute is publishing its Top 10 Patient Safety Concerns for Healthcare Organizations with the same intent: to give healthcare organizations a gauge to check their track record in patient safety. The list originally appeared in our Healthcare Risk Control (HRC) System newsletter, the Risk Management Reporter, and is reprinted in this report. The list is partly based on more than 300,000 patient safety events, custom research requests, and root-cause analyses submitted to our federally designated patient safety organization, ECRI Institute PSO, for evaluation and analysis.

Healthcare organizations can use the list to guide their own discussions about patient safety. Look at the list to ask whether any, some, or all of the top 10 areas identified are a concern for your organization. Your organization may decide to use the findings to identify one or more performance improvement initiatives.
No two organizations will have the same response to our top 10 list, and every organization will likely iden­tify their own areas of concern outside of our top 10 list. The list is not meant to dictate areas to address but rather enhance and inform those internal discussions about patient safety.

We intend to publish our top 10 list of patient safety concerns on an annual basis. Use it along with ECRI Institute’s other two top 10 lists—our list of health technology hazards and our list of technologies to watch—to stay informed in all areas of patient safety.

ECRI Institute is providing free access to a number of educational tools at www.ecri.org/PatientSafetyTop10, including: full report, a PowerPoint slideshow that summarizes the Top 10, and a poster.

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