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FDA Renews its Contract with Beaumont Technology Usability Center for Leadership of Patient Safety Project

ROYAL OAK, Mich., Feb. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- The Beaumont Technology Usability Center will begin research on the next phase of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's study on tubing and catheter misconnection errors.

In 2006, the Joint Commission released a Sentinel Event Alert on the potential dangers of tubing misconnections. According to the Alert, eight deaths and one instance of permanent loss of function were due to tubing misconnections. It also stated that "misconnection errors occur with significant frequency and, in a number of instances, lead to deadly consequences." Many of the medical devices used to deliver medication and gases to patients have similar or even identical connectors. Research is being conducted industry-wide to ensure a safer connector design.

In December 2006, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Social and Scientific Systems, Inc., under the support of FDA's Medical Product Safety Network (MedSun), contracted with the Beaumont Technology Usability Center (BTUC). BTUC developed an innovative risk assessment approach with several educational tools intended to increase awareness of healthcare professionals and provide strategies to reduce patient risk.

Today, the FDA asked BTUC to continue contributing to their nationwide initiative. BTUC clinical engineers and clinicians with the Department of Education at Beaumont Hospital, Troy, will use the new approach to examine the types of connectors that are currently in use and the potential risk associated with each setup.

"We are excited to provide results that will be used to define the next steps in this nationwide problem. By helping the FDA increase awareness, the entire healthcare community can work together to create a safer clinical environment," said Izabella Gieras, BTUC's Director of Technology Management.

About the Beaumont Technology Usability Center

The Beaumont Technology Usability Center's mission is to advance excellence in healthcare by improving medical technology and its use. The Usability Center provides medical device and equipment manufacturers with product development services that improve patient safety, minimize the cost of product development, and shorten the time-to-market.

The Usability Center's multidisciplinary team of human factors engineers, clinical technology engineers, and patient care specialists are affiliated with Beaumont Hospitals, comprised of a 1,061-bed major academic, research, and referral center in Royal Oak, MI; a 346-bed acute care community teaching hospital in Troy, MI; and a 289-bed community hospital in Grosse Pointe, MI; along with multiple specialty care centers throughout the community. For more information, please see .

Steve Ebben

Vice President

Planning & Marketing


SOURCE Beaumont Technology Usability Center
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