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Top 10

Top 10 Patient Safety Concerns 2021

Learn how to identify and address patient safety concerns in your facilities

The 2021 edition of ECRI’s Top 10 list features new issues, many related to the impact of COVID-19 on patient health across all care settings. However, the number-one topic on this year's list spans further than the current pandemic: racial and ethnic disparities in healthcare.

Maternal mortality is 3.3 times as high among Black mothers as among white mothers, and Black adults are more likely than suffer and die from a stroke than white adults. The Hispanic or Latinx population is also disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, including among COVID-19 deaths. Overall, racial and ethnic minorities tend to receive lower-quality care and experience greater morbidity and mortality than non-minorities. The recommendations ECRI provides in this report are based on data and experience from adverse events submitted through our Patient Safety Organization, and will help patient safety, risk, and quality professionals address these risks.

As multiple new topics this year illustrate, patient safety concerns are not confined to the acute care setting. This year we shine a light on:

  • Emergency preparedness and response in aging services
  • Supply chain interruptions
  • Infection risk from aerosol-generating procedures

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