The ECRI Institute published a top 10 list of health technology hazards for 2016, focused on medical devices and issues that were of concern to patient safety.
The ECRI institute is a nonprofit dedicated to analyzing and researching which medical procedures, devices, drugs and processes are best to improve patient care, the group said.
Topping the list was inadequate cleaning of flexible endoscopes before disinfection, the ECRI Institute said, a problem that is not unknown to regulatory groups such as the FDA.
In August, the FDA published warning letters it sent to the 3 largest endoscope makers in the U.S. market over violations during inspections following a string of deadly “superbug” infections attributed to duodenoscopes.
The devices are used for a procedure called endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography, in which a reusable tube-like camera is inserted into the throat of a patient. More than 500,000 ERCPs using the devices are performed in the U.S. annually.
The group clocked missed alarms, or alarm fatigue, as its 2nd most important health hazard. The ECRI Institute said missed or mishandled alarms are a major risk to patient health and come with a risk of injury or death.
Opioid-induced respiratory depression and failure to monitor such events were marked as number 3, and inadequate telemetry monitoring and surveillance came in at number 4.
Insufficient clinician OR tech training, HIT and facility workflow conflicts, unsafe injection practices, gamma camera mechanical failures, intensive care ventilator operation failures and misuse of USB ports on medical devices rounded out the institute’s list.