ECRI Institute, Plymouth Meeting, Pa, an independent nonprofit that researches the best approaches to improving patient care, released its Top 10 Health Technology Hazards list for 2013. Now in its 6th year of publication, the list raises awareness of the potential dangers associated with the use of medical devices and systems. Five of the top 10 hazards explained in ECRI Institute’s report are:

1. Alarm hazards
2. Medication administration errors using infusion pumps
3. Unnecessary radiation exposures and radiation burns during diagnostic radiology procedures
4. Patient/data mismatches in EHRs and other health IT (HIT) systems
5. Interoperability failures with medical devices and HIT systems

Three of the ten topics on the 2013 list are directly associated with the still-maturing health IT field where the interplay between complexity and effectiveness and potential harm is most evident; several of the other topics are peripherally related to HIT issues.