November 2, 2023

ECRI: New survey shows medication, supply shortages are hurting patients

By: Brita Belli

Editor's Note

A new survey from ECRI finds that shortages of medications and medical supplies and equipment are harming patients, the nonprofit organization reported in an October 13 news release. ECRI surveyed nearly 200 pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, procurement specialists, physicians, and nurses in July 2023.

Following are some takeaways from the survey:

  • Of the respondents, 60% reported that over the past 6 months their facility experienced shortages of more than 20 drugs, single-use supplies, or other medical devices. 
  • Care quality has been impacted across the healthcare system as a result of these shortages, according to survey respondents. They reported that surgery and anesthetics was most impacted at 74%, followed by emergency care (64%), pain management cardiology (45%), hematology and oncology (44%), infectious diseases (39%), and obstetrics and gynecology (37%).
  • The shortages have led to disruptions in chemotherapy treatments, the need to replace lidocaine with opioids, canceled or delayed surgeries, and incorrect medicine dosages. 

The ECRI survey confirms that patient care is suffering as a result of medication and equipment and device shortages and there is a need for nationally coordinated solutions.


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