ECRI helps to face the severe consequences of surgical stapler misuse, which is on the rise, with some guidance.
Fremont, CA: Serious complications from surgical staplers are rising and have to be addressed immediately by hospitals and other medical institutions. Thus, surgical stapler misuse has been listed as one of the top health technology hazards for patients in recent years. Injuries and deaths from the improper use of surgical staplers are fundamental, yet preventable. ECRI’s latest guidance focuses on helping stapler users avoid common errors that can put patients at risk. Of all the reasons, constant beeping and buzzing from patient care devices, electronic health record (EHR) portals, and nurse calls distract the physicians during direct patient care.
The combination of notifications, alerts, and alarms potentially disturbs the clinicians creating a scenario when significant events go unaddressed while responding to prompts from medical devices and health IT systems. According to the ECRI Institute, this hazard ranks sixth in the list, and so industry stakeholders need to recognize the notification burden as well. A global approach is needed that can consider all these sources to prevent the kind of cognitive overload that can distract or desensitize clinicians or prompt them to use improper notification settings, all of which can lead to missed notifications and patient harm.
Next comes the unproven surgical robotic procedure, which is the fifth top technology hazard that remains unnoticed for years. Surgical robotic systems are used to assist surgeons in performing a wide and continually expanding the range of minimally invasive procedures. These uses can result in injury or unexpected complications. The surgical robot, when used for cancer-related surgeries, has the potential for late-developing complications as they may not provide tactile feedback on forces exerted on the tissue.
These days, patient care shifts to ambulatory and home care settings, especially home treatment, when applied to kidney disease patients. So the risks associated with the use of remote patient monitoring devices are increasing. The cybersecurity issues that arise are similar to that of the security risks to hospital devices involving the interruption of data transfer to the healthcare provider leading to misdiagnosis or delay in care.
According to the ECRI Institute, the risks associated with a central venous catheter (CVC) can be particularly more dangerous in the home setting as family members or other caregivers may be ill-equipped to manage the risks or to respond when a CVC problem occurs. Other common issues include improper sterilization of equipment, failure to maintain implant data that put patients in danger, delay in critical medications, and mishandling of devices can result in the loosening of nuts and bolts in devices. These uncertainties can lead to catastrophic incidents that harm patients, clinicians, and bystanders.