Major Medical Technology Hazards in 2018
While medical technology advancements can offer new ways to increase length and quality of life for patients, novel approaches come with their own set of risks. When improperly used or inadequately implemented, new technologies can foster conditions that lead to medical malpractice.
The ERCI Institute tracks these risks and published an annual list where they identify the top 10 emerging health technology hazards. This post looks at some of those hazards in greater detail, providing a quick overview of each one. Being aware of these hazards can help you and your loved ones avoid potential hazards, or at the very least arm you with the knowledge to identify medical malpractice caused by neglectful or careless medical professionals.
Cyber Security Attacks
Unfortunately, the health sector is aggressively targeted by hackers and other cyber security threats. Health information contains a plethora of critical information such as social security numbers, patient health information, and financial details, making it a lucrative target. Many organizations are not equipped to handle having their patients’ information stolen and ransomed, which can lead to catastrophic outcomes if/when it does occur.
Improperly Maintained Flexible Endoscopes
Flexible endoscopes need to be manually cleaned and carefully inspected after each use. Failure to do so can lead to deadly infections, which is why the ERCI Institute has recommended that healthcare professionals rely on magnification tools and biochemical testing, as well as dry storage options to mitigate the risk of infection.
Mattresses and Covers
Mattress covers are used in practically all hospital mattresses and stretchers, which in theory should protect patients from previous patients’ germs. This is also why covers are routinely washed. Unfortunately, the mattresses themselves are not sanitized frequently, and it does not take much to compromise the integrity of a mattress cover, especially during cleanings. A compromised cover exposes patients to dangerous germs, which could lead to infection and worse.
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