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ECRI Institute Releases 'Top 10 Health Technology Hazards for 2011'

PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa., Dec. 7, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Where do you start when trying to minimize the risks from healthcare technology? ECRI Institute (, an independent nonprofit that researches the best approaches to improving patient care, helps hospitals answer this question with the release of its 5th annual list of Top 10 Health Technology Hazards for 2011. Available now as a free download with registration, the list features the top 10 health technology hazards that warrant critical attention by hospitals and other healthcare organizations in the coming year.  

The Top 10 Health Technology Hazards list is updated each year based upon the prevalence and severity of incidents reported to ECRI Institute by healthcare facilities nationwide; information found in the Institute's medical device problem reporting databases; and the judgment, analysis, and expertise of the organization's multidisciplinary staff. Many of the items on this year's list are well-recognized hazards with numerous reported incidents over the years.

The 2011 list, originally published in ECRI Institute's Health Devices journal (Nov. 2010), offers information about how these hazards occur, with recommendations for prevention and a comprehensive resource list for more in-depth information.

The top five hazards on ECRI Institute's 2011 list are:

  1. Radiation overdose and other dose errors during radiation therapy
  2. Alarm hazards
  3. Cross-contamination from flexible endoscopes
  4. The high radiation dose of CT scans
  5. Data loss, system incompatibilities, and other health IT complications

"If a hospital or health system needs help prioritizing its technology-related patient safety efforts, our top 10 list is a good place to start," says James P. Keller, Jr., Vice President, Health Technology and Safety, ECRI Institute.

"From dose errors during radiation therapy, to critical patient alarms that are set incorrectly, inappropriately silenced, or ignored, each of the problems on our list can be prevented or made less likely to occur if recommendations for effective risk-mitigation strategies are employed," says Keller in a one-minute overview video about the report.

Healthcare professionals can obtain the complete 2011 list and its recommendations at no cost by using the following link:

The Health Devices journal is provided to members of ECRI Institute's Health Devices System, Health Devices Gold, and SELECTplus™ programs. Health Devices features comparative, brand-name evaluations of medical devices and systems based on extensive laboratory testing and clinical studies. ECRI Institute's evaluations focus on the safety, performance, efficacy, and human factors design of specific medical devices and technologies.

For questions about ECRI Institute's annual list of technology hazards, or for information about membership in the Health Devices System, contact ECRI Institute by mail at 5200 Butler Pike, Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462-1298, USA; by telephone at (610) 825-6000, ext. 5891; by e-mail at; or by fax at (610) 834-1275. Contact ECRI Institute's European office at; ECRI Institute's Asia-Pacific office at; and ECRI Institute's Middle Eastern office at

ECRI Institute (, a nonprofit organization, dedicates itself to bringing the discipline of applied scientific research to healthcare to discover which medical procedures, devices, drugs, and processes are best to enable improved patient care.  As pioneers in this science for more than 40 years, ECRI Institute marries experience and independence with the objectivity of evidence-based research. ECRI Institute is designated a Collaborating Center of the World Health Organization and an Evidence-based Practice Center by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. ECRI Institute PSO, listed as a federally certified Patient Safety Organization by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, strives to achieve the highest levels of safety and quality in healthcare by collecting and analyzing patient safety information and sharing lessons learned and best practices.

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