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Top 10 Healthcare IT Hazards

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, November 7, 2012

The PSO legal framework, implemented three years ago, allows providers to log information about all sorts of adverse events, near misses, and unsafe conditions in an environment that is protected from legal discovery or pubic record disclosure. That information can be collated, catalogued and shared with all organizations participating in safety initiatives.

"With a significant growth in the number of hospitals participating in PSOs, particularly with the ECRI institute, we've been able to draw on a richer set of data to help build up this top 10 list for this year," Keller says.

The 2013 ECRI report expands on an Institute of Medicine's report that called last year for greater attention to the ability of health information technology and electronic record systems to introduce errors into the process.

"Designed and applied inappropriately, health IT can add an additional layer of complexity to the already complex delivery of healthcare, which can lead to unintended adverse consequences, for example dosing errors, failure to detect fatal illnesses, and delayed treatment due to poor human–computer interactions or loss of data," the IOM authors wrote.

The top 10 ECRI-identified hazards are ranked in an order that factors in:

  • The extent of potential harm
  • The likihood the hazard will occur
  • How many people it might affect in how many facilities
  • The difficulty such an error or problem is to recognize and quickly correct before "a cascade of downstream errors"
  • The likelihood that media or other pressures may force a rapid and conspicuous management
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

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