October 23, 2019

ECRI Institute: Diagnostic testing, medication events pose biggest safety risks to ambulatory care patients

By: Judy Mathias

Editor's Note

New research from the ECRI Institute finds that diagnostic tests and medication events are the most frequent safety risks patients face in ambulatory care.

ECRI Institute’s “Deep Dive: Safe Ambulatory Care, Strategies for Patient Safety & Risk Reduction” identifies solutions for five types of safety challenges in ambulatory care.

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In an analysis of 4,355 adverse events reported to the ECRI Institute by physician practices, ambulatory care centers, and community health centers between 2017 and 2018:

  • nearly half involved diagnostic testing errors
  • a quarter involved medication safety
  • the rest involved falls, security and safety, and privacy-related risks.

As healthcare delivery shifts from hospitals to ambulatory care settings, reducing and eliminating adverse events in the outpatient setting will require collaboration and coordination, ECRI Institute says.


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