Mohawk Valley Health System (MVHS) in Utica, New York, is a not-for-profit healthcare system with two campuses for inpatient and outpatient care, recognized for its distinguished Centers of Excellence, including The Stroke Center, The Regional Cancer and Rehabilitation Centers, and The Bariatric Surgery Center.
Recently, MVHS convened a committee to review and update its policy on allowing the use of patient-owned equipment in the hospital, and had difficulty coming to a consensus. Admitting patients to a hospital with their own ventilators or other respiratory therapy equipment can introduce unnecessary patient safety risks, especially if hospital staff are unfamiliar or not proficient in using a patient’s particular device.
Shortly before an important MVHS policy meeting, a relevant and timely hazard report from ECRI Institute’s Alerts Tracker™ application was automatically assigned to the hospital’s clinical engineering department. The recommendations in the exclusive, ECRI Institute evidence-based report, “The Use of Patient-Supplied Respiratory Care Equipment in Hospitals Requires Careful Assessment,” were central in guiding the hospital’s decision to change its policy.
Using ECRI Institute’s hazard report as a reference, MVHS successfully developed an important new policy—one that prevents the hospital from unnecessarily allowing risks in standard cases, and also provides the flexibility, through a formal process, to assess when the benefits of using patient-owned equipment outweigh the risks. This compromise satisfies the interests of patients, clinicians, and the hospital’s safety management team.
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