Patient Safety

Opioid Safety is again an ECRI Top-10 Health Technology Hazards for 2017

The ECRI Institute released its annual list of top-10 health technology hazards. ECRI’s top 10 technology hazards should be top of mind for clinicians.

By Sean Power

The ECRI Institute released its annual list of top-10 health technology hazards. These hazards have major patient safety implications and should be top-of-mind for all clinicians and hospitalists who use health technology.

ECRI Institute 2017 Top-10 Health Technology Hazards report cover

According to the authors of the report:

“Patients receiving opioids—such as morphine, hydromorphone, or fentanyl—are at risk for drug-induced respiratory depression. If not detected, this condition can quickly lead to anoxic brain injury or death. Thus, spot checks every few hours of a patient’s oxygenation and ventilation are inadequate.

“ECRI Institute recommends that healthcare facilities implement measures to continuously monitor the adequacy of ventilation of these patients and has recently tested and rated monitoring devices for this application.”

Last year, we interviewed Stephanie Uses, PharmD, MJ, JD, Patient Safety Analyst at ECRI Institute, to look at how hospitals and other healthcare facilities can prevent harm and death to patients with improved opioid safety. It is still relevant today.

Here is the interview in full.

You can also read the transcript here.

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