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ECRI Institute System is First to Automatically Find Recalled Products in a Hospital's Inventory
Date:8/27/2013

PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa., Aug. 27, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A patient dies when a high-flow suction hose connected to a chest tube pulls on her heart muscle, causing a tear in the aorta. Another patient is fatally injured when a surgical clip dislodges in his body, causing internal bleeding.

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When a device-related accident happens, manufacturers and the FDA issue urgent product recall or safe use alerts. But with dozens of medical alerts issued every week, how can busy hospital administrators make sure they don't miss the ones that could potentially harm patients?

Today, ECRI Institute (www.ecri.org) announces the release of Alerts Tracker Automatch™, the first and only system to automatically compare alerts on medical supplies directly to a hospital's inventory and notify appropriate staff daily, radically reducing the time it takes to find and address products affected by safety alerts and recalls.

Automatch is a revolutionary recall management solution that adds a new level of safety, reliability, and efficiency to a hospital or health system's alerts management process.   

"In an environment where it is becoming increasingly difficult to separate the signal from the noise, Automatch provides a much-needed antidote to overlooked, duplicated, or otherwise mismanaged alerts and recalls that can expose patients and organizations to unnecessary risk," says Eric Sacks, ECRI Institute's director of healthcare product alerts.

"Automatch is significantly more efficient and effective in the identification of affected products within our organization," says Kerry Cummings, RN, program manager, clinical resources, Cape Cod Healthcare, Hyannis, MA. "Previously, recall notice review would require about 2 to 2½ hours and required a manual look-up for all notices. With Automatch, the review and identification of potentially affected products in inventory is about a 10-minute review."

Another facility reported that out of the 117 OR alerts published by ECRI Institute over the past month, six were "automatched" directly to its supply inventory, representing a 95% reduction in the alerts requiring careful scrutiny (of products not in its inventory) and a more reliable way of finding the six that require immediate attention.

"When manually searching inventory data, it's easy to miss products listed under 'aliases,' such as distributor-specific reorder numbers. Automatch is trained to find those products even when they are listed under a name other than the original manufacturer's catalog number," says Sacks.

Alerts Tracker Automatch users are experiencing:

  • Savings of time and effort—Automatch automatically flags alerts on purchased products
  • Increased productivity and cost savings—Automatch eliminates the need for time-consuming manual look-ups
  • Enhanced patient safety—Daily notifications increase reliability of alerts management, reducing the
    potential for missed or late alert notices, and failure to find affected products

For more information, visit www.ecri.org/alertstracker_automatch, or contact ECRI Institute by e-mail at clientservices@ecri.org; by telephone at +1 (610) 825-6000, ext. 5891; by fax at +1(610) 834-1275; or by mail at 5200 Butler Pike, Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462.

About ECRI Institute
​ECRI Institute (www.ecri.org), a nonprofit organization, dedicates itself to bringing the discipline of applied scientific research to healthcare to discover which medical procedures, devices, drugs, and processes enable improved patient care. As pioneers in this science for 45 years, ECRI Institute marries experience and independence with the objectivity of evidence-based research. Strict conflict-of-interest guidelines ensure objectivity. ECRI Institute is designated an Evidence-based Practice Center by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. ECRI Institute PSO is listed as a federally certified Patient Safety Organization by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Find ECRI Institute on Facebook (www.facebook.com/ECRIInstitute) and on Twitter (www.twitter.com/ECRI_Institute).

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