The top 10 patient safety concerns to watch in 2019

Rachel Popa -

The ECRI Institute outlined the top 10 patient safety concerns for 2019 in a new report. 

The ECRI Institute compiled the report based on over 2.8 million event reports from its patient safety organization, as well as expert input.

The key patient safety concerns to know:

1. Diagnostic stewardship and test result management through EHRs. EHR use can lead to diagnostic errors, which prevent patients from receiving the care they need.

2. Antimicrobial stewardship in physician practices and aging services. Providers need to ask if a patient's condition will respond to antibiotics, if they're on the right dose and how the patient should be taking the antibiotics.

3. Physician burnout and patient safety. Physician burnout can have a negative effect on patient safety. ECRI said systemic changes addressing physician workloads, EHR use and performance criteria are necessary to alleviate burnout.

4. Mobile health patient safety concerns. The release of new technology that isn't properly regulated can endanger patients. User error, application validity and usability are three areas for health systems and organizations to focus on in mobile health.

5. Behavioral health discomfort. Training healthcare staff to properly work with patients' behavior health needs improves safety for both patients and staff.

6. Detecting changes in a patient's condition. Staff that is properly trained to detect changes in a patient's condition may improve safety. Passing information about a patient's condition over the continuum of care helps clinicians care for patients more effectively.

7. Maintaining and developing new skills. When staff is unfamiliar with equipment and procedures, patient safety is jeopardized. Train staff with simulations and practice to achieve better outcomes.

8. Detecting sepsis early in treatment. Detecting sepsis early gives providers time to prevent adverse outcomes.

9. Infections from peripherally inserted IV lines. PIVs can expose patients to infections. Awareness of PIV infections can reduce infection risk.

10. Standardizing safety efforts in large health systems. Quality reporting and patient safety initiatives are imperative to improving overall patient safety in organizations across a health system.

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