Getting pink slips from ECRI Institute in the '60s, '70s, 80s, and '90s meant bad news, but maybe not the kind you’d expect. ECRI Institute’s Pink Sheets weren’t job termination notices, but Urgent Hazard Bulletins intended to alert hospitals about potential critical issues with medical devices. ECRI Institute often issued the bulletins after being asked to research the problems reported by our member hospitals.
We continue to investigate hazardous issues, but these days the alerts are about pharmaceuticals, blood, devices, biologics and food, and are issued electronically—marked with a critical priority status in weekly Health Devices Alerts e-newsletters. We even have software so that hospitals can tell if they’ve acted to actually fix the problems.
Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority
Our advisories now extend to patient safety events and medical error. Under contract with the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority, ECRI Institute has collected more than 2.5 million adverse event and near miss reports. They analyze them and make recommendations for improvement as part of the statewide Pennsylvania Patient Safety Reporting System.
Patient Safety Organization
In 2009, ECRI Institute become a federally-certified Patient Safety Organization (PSO) with programs to help hospitals and healthcare systems improve patient safety through learning gleaned from reporting of adverse events.