ECRI Seeks Nominations for 2025: Top Patient Safety Concerns and Health Technology Hazards

The Emergency Care Research Institute (ECRI) was calling for nominations for its 2025 lists of the Top 10 Patient Safety Concerns and the Top 10 Health Technology Hazards. These lists are crucial for identifying preventable risks that threaten patient and healthcare worker safety, and for guiding improvements in clinical practices and technologies. We believe the following issues deserve top consideration. Nurses, do you agree?

Top Patient Safety Concerns

1. Reducing Adhesive Residue on Medical Equipment

Adhesive residue on medical equipment, such as hospital bedrails, chairs, walkers, and IV poles, is a significant but often overlooked patient safety issue. These residues can harbor bacteria, creating infection hotspots that pose serious risks to both patients and healthcare workers. Despite being against regulatory standards, adhesive residues frequently go unnoticed or are inadequately addressed during routine cleaning. To combat this, hospitals must enforce stringent cleaning protocols, provide thorough staff training, and conduct periodic audits to ensure all adhesive residues are completely removed. This will help maintain a safer environment for patient care.

2. Involving Patients in Their Care through Management of Tubing, Lines, and Drains

Empowering patients to actively participate in managing their tubing, lines, and drains can significantly enhance patient safety and outcomes. Hospitals should use cord holders to keep essential items within patients' reach, preventing falls and injuries from unassisted attempts to get out of bed. Educating patients about their lines and encouraging involvement in their care promotes early ambulation and better overall engagement in their health management. This strategy not only boosts patient satisfaction but also reduces the risk of dislodgement and associated complications, allowing for more effective monitoring and management of medical lines.

1. Keeping Tubing, Lines, and Drains Off the Floor

Ensuring all medical tubing, lines, and drains are kept off the floor is critical for preventing trips and falls, as well as reducing contamination and hospital-acquired infections. When lines touch the floor, they require cleaning or replacement, which can be resource-intensive and disruptive to patient care. By keeping lines elevated and properly secured, hospitals can simplify their management, aiding in quicker and more accurate tracing during emergencies and nurse hand-offs. This practice helps prevent errors in connecting or disconnecting lines, enhancing overall patient safety and operational efficiency. Strict protocols and appropriate equipment should be used to maintain this standard.

By highlighting critical issues, ECRI aims to drive improvements in healthcare practices and technology, ensuring a safer environment for patients and healthcare professionals alike. Nurses, your input and experience are invaluable in shaping these priorities. Share your thoughts and help us make a difference!

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