Accreditation

Part 2: ECRI's top tech hazards list 2018

Briefings on Accreditation and Quality, May 1, 2018

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  The top five healthcare technology dangers of 2018

The ECRI Institute published its annual list of the top 10 health technology hazards for the industry. In part two, we look at the top five dangers. To guide readers through the hazards, BOAQ spoke to several experts about each hazard and how to prevent them.

Readers will note that several of the top hazards in 2018 are the same as those in 2017. Part one, featuring hazards 6–10, was published in the April issue. 

5. Device malfunctions caused by improper cleaning

Summary: ECRI warns that repeated cleanings using incompatible cleaning agents can damage devices over time by degrading plastics and lubricants, compromising seals and surfaces, and allowing fluid to intrude into the device. These cracks and other problems may not be noticeable to whoever cleans or uses the device, which makes them especially dangerous.

“Inherent in the use of device cleaning is the expectation that users follow manufacturers’ written instructions for use,” says Tom Remy, RN, MBA, operating room director at the University of Virginia Health System Medical Center. “Manufacturers are obligated to provide details on how a particular product or piece of equipment is to be used and cleaned. At times during product failure analysis it is determined that the product failure, at least in part, was related to improper cleaning. Examples of this are well documented with endoscopy cleaning.”

Solutions: “The key is that, unfortunately, users aren’t fully aware of manufacturers’ instructions for use,” Remy says.

This is an excerpt from a member only article. To read the article in its entirety, please login or subscribe to Briefings on Accreditation and Quality.

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