Healthcare technology, while providing patients and professionals with advanced care solutions, has weaknesses in protecting patient information, according to the Top 10 Health Technology Hazards for 2018 report conducted by ECRI Institute.
The report contains findings based on ECRI’s identification of potential dangers that should be areas of improvement in the following year. The list for top threats to health technology is 2018 includes:
- Ransomware and other cybersecurity threats to healthcare delivery.
- Endoscope reprocessing failures exposing patients to infections.
- Mattresses and covers exposed to body fluids and other contaminants.
- Missed alarms leading to misconfigured secondary notification devices.
- Improper cleaning of devices and equipment causing a potential for patient injury.
- Unholstered electrosurgical electrodes resulting in patient burns.
- Improper use of digital imaging tools increasing radiation exposure.
- Workaround negating the safety of bar-coded medication administration systems.
- Flaws in medical device networks interrupting care.
- Slow adoption of safe enteral feeding connectors.
“The safe use of health technology—from beds and stretchers to large, complex imaging systems—requires identifying possible sources of danger or difficulty with those technologies and taking steps to minimize the likelihood that adverse events will occur. This list will help healthcare facilities do that,” stated the report. “All the items on our list represent problems that can be avoided or risks that can be minimized through the careful management of technologies. The list serves as a tool that healthcare facilities can use to efficiently and effectively manage the risks.”