The AAMI Foundation is launching its newest patient safety initiative: building a repository of best practices to guide healthcare facilities and clinicians in the procurement and use of medical devices and healthcare technology. The foundation is assembling a group of experts to serve on the National Coalition to Promote the Safe Use of Complex Healthcare Technology, which will host its kickoff meeting in Annapolis, Md, from April 12-13.

Given the inherent risks involved in using complex technologies to diagnose, monitor, and treat patients, the primary goal of the coalition is to build a repository of best practices that addresses:

  • Selecting and purchasing complex technology
  • Educating and training clinical users of healthcare technology
  • Assessing proficiency of use

“We believe that bringing the right people together from across the healthcare and medical device community is the best way to address the complicated challenges that hospitals and clinicians face today,” says Marilyn Neder Flack, executive director of the AAMI Foundation and senior vice president of patient safety initiatives at AAMI.

“Although all of our patient safety initiatives to date have been challenging, this particular initiative will be even more so because it involves so many stakeholders inside and outside the walls of the hospital,” she adds. “However, all stakeholders must join this effort because as devices become increasingly complex, the probability that clinicians will lack some vital knowledge of when, why, or how to use these products with patients grows, and positive patient outcomes are at risk.”

Since 2014, the AAMI Foundation has established four other patient safety initiatives that focus on infusion therapy safety, clinical alarm management, the continuous electronic monitoring of patients on opioids, and home health infusions.

Corporate partners for the new coalition, to date, include BD; Hospira, a Pfizer company; Medtronic; Baxter; Nihon Kohden; and VitalSims.

“Funding for an initiative such as the National Coalition to Promote the Safe Use of Complex Healthcare Technology is crucial because the challenge is so complicated that it will take a coordinated and sustained effort to bring about real change,” Flack says.