New ECRI Institute Initiative Aims to Extinguish Surgical Fires

Approximately 90-100 surgical fires occur each year in the United States according to independent research organization ECRI Institute. Although rare, surgical fires pose serious consequences to patients, hospital staff and to the reputation of the healthcare facility.

ECRI Institute recently announced a new consultative program focused on eliminating th​is safety hazard.

“While the healthcare community has made great strides in preventing surgical fires, we must not be complacent,” says Scott Lucas, Ph.D., P.E., ECRI Institute’s director of accident and forensic investigation. He adds, “Guidelines to prevent and extinguish fires have been published by ECRI Institute and others for many years. Implementation of these guidelines is often the challenge.”

Combining experts and strict confidential​ onsite assessments, the new​ Surgical Fire Prevention service includes an in-depth review of a hospital or health system’s surgical fire prevention policies and an audit of high-risk surgical procedures and practices. ECRI Institute’s experts conduct interviews with pertinent stakeholders as part of the process. Confidential reports outline key findings of the assessment and offer ​​in-depth, actionable recommendations to help minimize the chance of future surgical fires.

“Surgical fires are devastating to patients and to hospitals’ reputations,” states Lucas. “We are pleased to apply our unique experience to this specialized onsite service.”

Learn more at ecri.org.

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Posted August 10, 2018

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