The Top 10 Health Hazards According to ECRI Institute

ECRI Institute has released its 5th annual list of Top 10 Health Technology Hazards for 2011 on its Web site ( According to ECRI Institute, it updates the list each year based upon "the prevalence and severity of incidents reported to ECRI Institute by healthcare facilities nationwide; information found in the institute’s medical device problem reporting databases; and the judgment, analysis, and expertise of the organization’s multidisciplinary staff."

The 2011 list was originally published in ECRI Institute’s Health Devices journal (November 2010). It includes recommendations for prevention and a comprehensive resource list for more in-depth information.

The top five hazards on ECRI Institute’s 2011 list are:

1.      Radiation overdose and other dose errors during radiation therapy.
2.      Alarm hazards.
3.      Cross-contamination from flexible endoscopes.
4.      The high radiation dose of CT scans.
5.      Data loss, system incompatibilities, and other health IT complications.

“If a hospital or health system needs help prioritizing its technology-related patient safety efforts, our top 10 list is a good place to start,” said James P. Keller, Jr., Vice President, Health Technology and Safety, ECRI Institute, in a statement on the institute's Web site. “From dose errors during radiation therapy, to critical patient alarms that are set incorrectly, inappropriately silenced, or ignored, each of the problems on our list can be prevented or made less likely to occur if recommendations for effective risk-mitigation strategies are employed,” says Keller in a one-minute overview video about the report. 

Those interested in reading the other five hazards and ECRI Institute's advice can obtain the report as a free download with registration.  

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