Technology has drastically changed and improved the medical industry. However, there are still risks with adopting or using new technology in a medical environment that people sometimes fail to recognize.
Sadly, patients are the ones who end up paying the price when a technological solution fails or is incorrectly implemented. As such, it is important to understand the risks of health technology, especially the most common types of hazards.
According to this report from the ECRI Institute, the following are the 10 technological hazards that could be most likely to result in adverse medical events in the coming year.
- Malicious software programs that infect healthcare facilities and disrupt networks, data and access
- Failure to properly reprocess medical devices between uses, leading to the spread of infection
- Failure to properly clean and remove contaminants from mattresses and bed covers
- Delays or failures in secondary alarm notification systems
- Use improper cleaning agents or procedures on medical devices leading to deterioration of materials
- Unholstered electrosurgical unit active-electrode pencils
- Misuse of digital imaging tools
- Misuse or unapproved workarounds of bar-coded medication administration systems
- Incorrect implementation of networked medical devices
- Failure to adopt safer enteral feeding tube practices in a timely manner
Hospitals and staff members can minimize the risks of these hazards by complying with approved methods in every instance. Unfortunately, this may not always happen.
Technological advances and solutions can be amazing. However, when they are improperly or unevenly utilized, the impact on patients can be catastrophic, and those affected by these types of medical errors have the right to hold the appropriate party accountable. If you or a loved one has suffered a serious injury as a result of a technological error in the hospital, then you may have grounds to pursue a legal claim and compensation. For guidance, you can contact an attorney.