ECRI Institute's Top 10 Patient Safety Concerns for 2020 features new topics, with an emphasis on concerns that have the biggest potential impact on patient health across all care settings. However, the number one topic on this year's list is one revisited from 2019: missed and delayed diagnoses.
ECRI’s list of patient safety concerns for 2020:
1. Missed and delayed diagnoses—Diagnostic errors are very common. Missed and delayed diagnoses can result in patient suffering, adverse outcomes, and death.
2. Maternal health across the continuum—Approximately 700 women die from childbirth-related complications each year in the U.S. More than half of these deaths are preventable.
3. Early recognition of behavioural health needs—Stigmatisation, fear, and inadequate resources can lead to negative outcomes when working with behavioural health patients.
4. Responding to and learning from device problems—Incidents involving medical devices or equipment can occur in any setting where they might be found, including ageing services, physician and dental practices, and ambulatory surgery.
5. Device cleaning, disinfection, and sterilisation—Sterile processing failures can lead to surgical site infections, which have a 3% mortality rate and an associated annual cost of $3.3 billion.
6. Standardising safety across the system—Policies and education must align across care settings to ensure patient safety.
7. Patient matching in the EHR—Organisations should consistently use standard patient identifier conventions, attributes, and formats in all patient encounters.
8. Antimicrobial stewardship—Over prescribing of antibiotics throughout all care settings contributes to antimicrobial resistance.
9. Overrides of Automated Dispensing Cabinets (ADC)—Overrides to remove medications before pharmacist review and approval lead to dangerous and deadly consequences for patients.
10. Fragmentation across care settings—Communication breakdowns result in readmissions, missed diagnoses, medication errors, delayed treatment, duplicative testing and procedures, and dissatisfaction.