Top 10 Health Technology Hazards for 2020

The new report identifies safety issues and action steps for 10 dangerous and preventable hazards.

By ECRI Institute 10.07.19
ECRI Institute’s Top 10 Health Technology Hazards, now in its 13th year, identifies top health technology concerns that warrant attention by healthcare leaders. The hazards selected are based on a rigorous review of ECRI’s incident investigations, medical device testing and public and private incident reporting databases.
This year, ECRI Institute named surgical stapler misuse as the number one health technology hazard in its Top 10 Health Technology Hazards for 2020 report.
“Injuries and deaths from the misuse of surgical staplers are substantial and preventable,” said Marcus Schabacker, MD, PhD, president and CEO, ECRI Institute. “We want hospitals and other medical institutions to be in a better position to take necessary actions to protect patients from harm.”
Earlier this year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration published an analysis of 109,997 stapler incidents since 2011, including 412 deaths, 11,181 serious injuries, and 98,404 malfunctions. During the past two decades, ECRI Institute has investigated 75 stapler accidents, including several fatalities, and published 42 safety alerts. ECRI’s latest guidance is intended to help stapler users avoid many of the common errors that can lead to patient harm.
The full Top 10 Health Technology Hazards report, accessible to ECRI Institute members, provides detailed steps that organizations can take proactively to prevent adverse incidents. An executive brief version is available at
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