TECHNOLOGY SPONSOR: Patient Safety
ECRI, one of That's Nice's Road to 2021 sponsors, discusses how the company is envisioning the future of the pharma/biopharma industry.
The biggest change in the evolution of healthcare is point-of-care delivery. Care is rapidly moving out of hospitals and into ambulatory settings and homes. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated this seismic shift. The rapid adoption of telehealth and remote care during the pandemic is going to continue to escalate. Treatments and procedures that used to take place in hospitals with overnight stays are now often in-and-out procedures at ambulatory care centers. More and more patients receive complex treatments at home, such as chemotherapy infusions, dialysis, and cardiac monitoring. In most cases, these devices have alarms to alert personnel when something is wrong, but, when complex technology is used in the home setting, patient safety can be at risk.
Additionally, treatments are becoming more complex with new drug/device combination therapies. That’s one reason why ECRI, an independent nonprofit patient safety organization, joined forces with the Institute for Safe Medication Practices, the world’s leader in medication safety. By creating one of the largest healthcare quality and safety entities in the world, we can closely monitor an evolving set of issues that could lead to errors and patient harm. For example, rather than oversight by a trained clinician, devices and drugs used in the home are now in the hands of an aging lay population who bring new risks to the use of that technology. Day in and out, ECRI studies what can go wrong with the use of medical devices and pharmaceuticals; this new migration of technology is a game-changer for the healthcare industry, patients, and overall safety.
Day in and out, ECRI studies what can go wrong with the use of medical devices and pharmaceuticals; this new migration of technology is a game-changer for the healthcare industry, patients, and overall safety.
Patient Safety in All Settings
Patient safety is paramount in all care settings, now and in the future. ECRI’s more than five decades of medical device and patient safety experience has been instrumental in establishing safe and effective clinical pathways and guidelines. We have been overseeing medical device safety since the late 1960s, when ECRI reviewed and evaluated lifesaving devices in hospital emergency departments. We established the National Guideline Clearinghouse in 1998 for the federal government, and now our ECRI Guidelines Trust vets guidelines’ adherence to the highest standards for trustworthiness. This assures clinicians that treatment pathways are supported by science and the best available evidence. Every day, ECRI scans the horizon for new drugs, devices, treatments, and interventions that show promise to improve care by disrupting standard practices. ECRI is well qualified to advance safety and quality into the next dramatic shift as care moves into the home setting.
ECRI and ISMP promote patient safety by sharing adverse events, near misses, and unsafe conditions across all healthcare settings, including ones associated with a pharmaceutical product and medical device use. ISMP’s wholly owned for-profit subsidiary, the Medication Safety Board (MSB), works directly with the pharmaceutical industry to identify risks upstream and help prevent errors related to packaging and labeling from happening.
COVID-19 has changed the way the world delivers healthcare. ECRI, ISMP, and the medical device and pharma industries all need to change, too. For us, it is evident that hospitals and pharmacies are consolidating. Care is shifting to ambulatory, aging, and home care settings. To remain viable, we need to broaden our attractiveness to nontraditional healthcare providers, understand how they operate, and then develop services targeted to their needs. Cost savings is just one element in that equation. The ultimate value we provide must be improving patient safety in all care settings.