News Release

ECRI and the Institute for Safe Medication Practices Launch New Patient Safety Organization

Leaders of ECRI and its affiliate, the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP), announce the launch of a joint Patient Safety Organization (PSO), an important step in making medication, medical devices, and healthcare practices safer for patients across all care settings, now during the COVID-19 pandemic, and into the future. The nonprofit organizations had each been federally designated PSOs since the program began in 2008.

The new ECRI and the Institute for Safe Medication Practices PSO combines the skills of ECRI, the global voice for solutions to minimize risk and improve the safety and quality of patient care, and ISMP, which has served as a vital force for preventing medication errors and driving change in medical practice and pharmaceutical products.

“Our new PSO is a single source for safety that's unrivaled in the market place,” says Marcus Schabacker, MD, PhD, president and CEO of ECRI. “Together, ECRI and ISMP bring up-to-date information and real-time guidance to assure healthcare leaders that they’re making the best decisions to keep patients, long-term care residents, and staff safe.”

By combining their two PSOs, ECRI and ISMP create one of the largest patient safety entities in the world. ECRI has more than 3.5 million analyzed events, including 10,000 related to COVID-19, submitted by the nation's most respected health systems and providers across all care settings. ISMP is the worldwide leader in determining system-based causes of medication errors across the continuum of care, disseminating lessons learned, and creating impactful change in practice.

“This is an unprecedented time of change and uncertainty in healthcare, and frontline practitioners are being challenged by complex patient care needs and difficult medication safety compromises,” says ISMP President Michael Cohen, RPh, MS, FASHP. “The joining of ECRI and ISMP’s PSOs makes sense to create a truly collaborative approach to safety in the healthcare community for better patient outcomes.”   

For example, in an effort to reduce nursing exposure, conserve PPE in short supply, and quickly respond to pump alarms, hospitals overrun with COVID-19 patients moved bedside IV infusion pumps and administration sets into hallways outside patient rooms. The risks and challenges from this innovative process included potential shortage of extension tubing sets, more frequent alarms at high flow rates, and other technology challenges. ISMP medication safety experts and ECRI’s clinical engineering team worked together to provide real-time guidance to ensure safety for this technology work-around.   

“Our joint PSO brings together global experts in medication safety, device errors, patient safety, risk, and quality, to support healthcare providers in real-time when they need it the most,” says Schabacker.

Patient Safety Organizations, created as part of the Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005, enable individual providers and healthcare organizations to voluntarily report quality and patient safety information confidentially and without fear of legal discovery. Using this process, PSOs can help healthcare professionals learn from quality and patient safety concerns to prevent similar problems from happening in the future.

To learn more about ECRI and the Institute for Safe Medication Practices PSO, or to request a demo, visit https://www.ecri.org/pso, call (610) 825-6000, or e-mail [email protected].


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About ECRI

ECRI is an independent, nonprofit organization improving the safety, quality, and cost-effectiveness of care across all healthcare settings. With a focus on patient safety, evidence-based medicine, and health technology decision solutions, ECRI is respected and trusted by healthcare leaders and agencies worldwide. Over the past fifty years, ECRI has built its reputation on integrity and disciplined rigor, with an unwavering commitment to independence and strict conflict-of-interest rules.

ECRI is the only organization worldwide to conduct independent medical device evaluations, with labs located in North America and Asia Pacific. ECRI is designated an Evidence-based Practice Center by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.  ECRI and the Institute for Safe Medication Practices PSO is a federally certified Patient Safety Organization as designated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) formally became an ECRI Affiliate in 2020.

Visit www.ecri.org and follow @ECRI_Org to learn more.

About the Institute for Safe Medication Practices

The Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) is the only 501c (3) nonprofit organization devoted entirely to preventing medication errors. ISMP is known and respected as the gold standard for medication safety information. For more than 25 years, it also has served as a vital force for progress. ISMP’s advocacy work alone has resulted in numerous necessary changes in clinical practice, public policy, and drug labeling and packaging. Among its many initiatives, ISMP runs the only national voluntary practitioner medication error reporting program, publishes newsletters with real-time error information read and trusted throughout the global healthcare community, and offers a wide range of unique educational programs, tools, and guidelines.

In 2020, ISMP formally affiliated with ECRI, and ECRI and the ISMP PSO is a federally certified Patient Safety Organization by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. As a watchdog organization, ISMP receives no advertising revenue and depends entirely on charitable donations, educational grants, newsletter subscriptions, and volunteer efforts to pursue its life-saving work.

Visit www.ismp.org and follow @ismp1 to learn more.

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