What technology hazards could put patients in danger in 2015?

Despite our highest hopes and the best efforts of hospitals across the nation, medical mistakes continue to occur. Although one of the reasons is because of negligence — both at the hospital level and the staff level — the other reason is that technology and procedural guidelines are simply not up to the standards yet that we expect to find.

That having been said, our readers are probably wondering what technology could put patients in danger in 2015. With the help of a top ten list provided by the ECRI Institute, we hope to answer this question and give a heads up about possible hazards in 2015.

Most of the technology hazards that could put patients at risk of injury or death next year are devices that could lead to surgical errors, medication errors and even misdiagnoses. These medical mistakes can result in serious injury or even death in some cases, which is a concern for a number of our South Carolina readers who know that these mistakes could easily happen here in our state.

Other concerns next year include accidental ventilator disconnections by negligent staff, improper sanitation of medical instruments, and malfunctions in devices that regulate medication levels.

Now that much of our patient information is accessible through Internet networks, there is a rising concern regarding cyberattacks and the possibility that records could get destroyed in the process. For many of our readers, this is a concern that should be addressed sooner rather than later, especially considering the recent cyberattack on Sony Pictures that resulted in the corruption and release of private information.

Although technology hazards should be a concern for patients in 2015, so too should other medical mistakes such as failing to provide prompt care in the emergency room, negligence during the birth of a child that results in injuries, and improper training that results in injury or wrongful death — just to name a few.

Source: The ECRI Institute, “ECRI Institute Announces Top 10 Health Technology Hazards for 2015,” News Release, Nov. 25, 2014