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The Economic Cycle Research Institute releases top medical hazards for 2013

When we need medical assistance, we hope for the best treatment. As technology advances, hospitals and other care facilities are beginning to utilize high-tech medical devices and systems in an effort to improve care. For example, electronic health records have made it into many doctors’ offices around the country. However, what happens when these systems fail or care specialists use them incorrectly? An error can compromise the care of a patient.

For this reason, it is important that the medical industry monitor its treatment systems and standards on a regular basis. Doing so can help ensure that the industry is providing sufficient care.

The Economic Cycle Research Institute, a nonprofit organization that studies how to improve patient care, recently released a report entitled “The Top 10 Health Technology Hazards for 2013.” The institute intends to use the findings to highlight potential dangers associated with the use of particular technological medical devices.

The list is created based upon the frequency and severity of incidents reported to the institute by health care facilities nationwide. The rankings involve analysis from the organization’s safety staff.

The following are the top 10 risks on the institute’s list for 2013:

  • Alarm hazards
  • Surgical fires
  • Inadequate reprocessing of endoscopic devices and surgical instruments
  • Neglect of pediatric patients’ needs when using “adult” technologies
  • Unnecessary exposures and radiation burns from diagnostic radiology procedures
  • Patient-data errors in electronic health records and other health IT systems
  • Medication errors
  • Interoperability failures with medical devices and health IT systems
  • Air embolism hazards
  • Distractions from smartphones and other mobile devices, which impede care

Every matter that made the list has remedial steps that hospitals can take to reduce the dangers associated with each hazard. Hopefully, health care facilities will use this information to revise and improve safety policies.

Furthermore, these warnings might supplement or improve current medical care standards, which help dictate adequate medical practices. For example, the findings could help care providers reduce the unnecessary risks associated with radiology procedures. An industry standard might inform physicians of what is considered customary radiology care.

When a health care provider departs from acceptable standards of medical care, a patient could be harmed.

If you believe that you are a victim of poor medical treatment or care, you should speak to an experienced medical malpractice attorney today.