Really, I mean that. Tom says that being around so many nurses has taught him one thing (well, two if you count never turn your back on a proctologist). Hospitals are great places to visit loved ones when you’re well, but they’re a horrible place to be when you’re sick. Studies have shown the longer you’re in a hospital recovering, the more likely you are to develop an infection, iatrogenic injury or even die.
Tom usually blogs about technology, but this one was too good for me to pass up. ECRI has come up with a list of the Top 10 Health Technology Hazards! That just sounded like fun. For your legal nurse consulting business, this is an eye-opening list of just what can (and will probably) go wrong with healthcare technology. ECRI even ran the list in order of importance. Here we go:
- Alarm Hazards. You know you ignore them or worse – turn them off.
- Needlesticks and other Sharps Injuries. This is really low-tech. We’ve been maliciously sticking unsuspecting patients with needles for years.
- Air Embolism from Contrast Media Injectors. This I read AFTER my MRI?
- Retained Devices and Unretrieved Fragments. Suddenly patients find themselves setting off the metal detectors at the airport or they are billed for a missing forceps.
- Surgical Fires. Another reason why CRNAs shouldn’t smoke at work.
- Anesthesia Hazards Due to Inadequate Pre-Use Inspection. More likely due to pre-use use by the CRNA and/or the anesthesiologist.
- Misleading Displays. Especially the one showing brain activity.
- CT Radiation Dose. Everyone else leaves the room during the x-ray, why shouldn’t the patient?
- MR Imaging Burns. You stick a damaged headset and goggles on the patient, then ram him into the magnetic bore and wonder why he comes out with his hair on fire?
- Fiber-Optic Light-Source Burns. Another way to set a patient on fire is by resting a hot “cold light source” on him during surgery.
The ECRI report also lists five of last year’s hazards that didn’t cause enough harm to make this year’s Top 10. They are still described as “significant” concerns. ECRI has taken the time to identify problems that any Certified Legal Nurse Consultant realizes are avoidable. I’d get a copy of this list and keep it handy when screening your medical malpractice cases. For a limited time, you can use the link above to visit ECRI and download a free copy of the report.
It’s like Tom always tells me “Technology is fun – in the right hands.”
Success Is Inside!
P.S. Have you seen any med-mal or products liability cases in your legal nurse consulting business related to these topics? What, in your opinion, is the biggest health technology hazard? Comment here.