Top 10 Health Technology Hazards for 2013: Key Patient Safety Risks, and How to Keep Them in Check

October 6, 2014 | Evaluations & Guidance


Ensuring the safe use of health technology requires identifying possible sources of danger or difficulty involving medical devices and systems—our definition of the term “hazards”—and taking steps to minimize the likelihood that adverse events will occur. With the vast array of technologies in use at a modern healthcare facility, however, deciding where to commit limited resources is a continual challenge.

Our annual Top 10 list highlights the technology safety topics that we believe warrant particular attention for the coming year. Some are hazards that we see occurring with regularity. Some are problems that we believe will become more prevalent, given the way the technology landscape is evolving. And some are well-known topics that periodically warrant renewed attention because of their potential to cause harm. The list is not comprehensive, nor will all of the hazards listed here be applicable at all healthcare facilities. We encourage facilities to use the list as a starting point for patient safety discussions and for setting their health technology safety priorities.

To view all of our annual Top 10 Hazards lists, visit the Top 10 Hazards archive.

  1. Alarm hazards

  2. Medication administration errors using infusion pumps

  3. Unnecessary exposures and radiation burns from diagnostic radiology procedures

  4. Patient/data mismatches in EHRs and other health IT systems

  5. Interoperability failures with medical...

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