Some of the biggest medical hazards in 2014 involve alarm fatigue, robotic surgery complications, and medication errors from infusion pumps. According to the Emergency Care Research Institute, which has just released its list of the top 10 medical tech hazards for 2014, the biggest hazard we need to look out for this year is alarm fatigue.
The list includes a number of serious medical technology hazards that hospitals need to look out for the coming year. Some hazards featured on the list with alarming regularity every year, while other problems are fairly new; although the Institute believes that these problems have the potential to become serious hazards in the coming year. The good news is that all of these risks are entirely preventable.
Topping the list in 2014 is an alarm fatigue. This problem has already received a fair amount of attention in this blog. Alarm fatigue is a serious risk to patient care and refers to the kind of distractions that plague nurses who are exposed to dozens of medical alarms drinking continuously throughout their working day. At some point in time, nurses become desensitize to the frequent nature of these alarms and choose to simply ignore them, or worse, may unintentionally miss out on important alarms. This is a serious patient safety risk, and the only feasible solution is to reduce the number of medical alarms by eliminating those that may not be completely necessary.