Skip to content


Your cart is empty

Top 10

Top 10 Patient Safety Concerns 2024

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

ECRI's Top 10 Patient Safety Concerns 2024 identifies imminent safety challenges for patients and staff that we believe require maximum focus for the coming year; more importantly, it offers actionable recommendations to remedy these challenges.


The 2024 edition of our Top Ten report features many first-time topics and emphasizes potential risks that could have the largest impact on patients. The number one topic in this year's report was exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent workforce shortages: challenges transitioning newly trained clinicians from education into practice.

Trends in employment rates for new clinicians were positive through 2023, with 96% of new nurses finding work. However, there is growing concern about the difficulty of transitioning new clinicians from education to practice—in the face of several factors exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Without sufficient preparation, support, and training, new clinicians can experience loss of confidence, burnout, and reduced mindfulness around culture of safety. The combination of these factors may lead to preventable harm.

The report also includes workarounds with barcode medication administration systems. In addition, several topics reflect challenges that have arisen as a result of the stresses associated with adapting clinician workflows to new technologies, steering through changes in care delivery settings, mitigating complex risks like staff burnout and workplace violence, and navigating an uncertain economic and global political climate. Topics include:

  • Barriers to access maternal and perinatal care
  • Unintended consequences of technology adoption
  • Decline in physical and emotional well-being of healthcare workers

To effectively understand where vulnerabilities lie, leaders must examine all elements of the system—people, organizations, tasks and processes, tools and technology, and the physical environment. Each topic in this year's Top Ten represents a failure in at least one of these areas; in fact, many overlap and their roots are found in multiple areas.

Supporting Total Systems Safety

Total systems safety focuses on creating greater efficiency and resilience in clinical and safety operations. It incorporates principles of human factors, systems design engineering, health equity, and advanced safety science to redesign individual components of systems to be more transparent and aligned—leading to safer and more effective care.

Download the Report