Infusion Pump Medication Errors Top Health Tech Hazard List

November 11, 2013

November 11, 2013

As healthcare technology evolves, so do the problems and hazards that arise. ECRI Institute’s annual top 10 list of healthcare technology hazards highlights issues the healthcare industry is currently facing.

New sources for concern include merging risks posed by interoperability problems and inadequate planning for electronic medical record implementation. Alarm fatigue remains the biggest threat as noted by ECRI. The Joint Commission highlighted alarm fatigue as the cause of 98 sentinel events in hospitals, 80 of them deaths, in a report issued earlier this year.

 Meanwhile, infusion pump medication errors have reached the number two spot. One of the conclusions drawn in the report is that hospitals need to do a better job of “change management.” That is, changing the way IT projects are defined by making sure physicians, nurses and medical staff in positions to provide useful insights can help IT staff carry out projects with the least disruption.

The other hazards are listed below:

  1. Alarm Hazards
  2. Infusion Pump Medication Errors
  3. CT Radiation Exposure in Pediatric Patients
  4. Data Integrity Failures in EHRs and other Health IT Systems
  5. Occupational Radiation Hazards in Hybrid ORs
  6. Inadequate Reprocessing of Endoscopes and Surgical Instruments
  7. Neglecting Change Management for Networked Devices and Systems
  8. Risks to Pediatric Patients from “Adult” Technologies
  9. Robotic Surgery Complications due to Insufficient Training
  10. Retained Devices and Unretrieved Fragments

The top problems stem from medical staff getting distracted from other critical patient care activities. They can become desensitized and miss important alarms because of too many insignificant alarms.

According to recommendations by ECRI to the Joint Commission, the number of clinically insignificant or avoidable alarms should be minimized so that the conditions that require attention can be more easily recognized. Secondly, optimize alarm response protocols so that the patient receives the appropriate care at the time it’s needed.

Moreover, Electronic Medical Record systems should be properly tested. illustrated the bad things that can happen when an insufficient enough time is allocated for testing and fixing any problems that arise before the launch of a new system. Overlooked errors at implementation can put patients’ lives at risk.

In order to further minimize errors, medical institutions should use the highest quality tools and instruments. AIV offers parts and services for most leading infusion pumps in the market, including Baxter, BBraun, Alaris, Abbott/Hospiraand more. Browse through AIV’s replacement parts and repair services at

About the Author

Laura Collier

Laura Collier

Laura Collier has a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of North Florida. She is the Marketing Manager at AIV, Inc.

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