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ECRI says COVID-19 has made racial disparities biggest healthcare safety concern


Getty Images Dive Brief:

Healthcare safety organization ECRI has named racial and ethnic disparities in healthcare delivery, particularly when it comes to screening and treatments for COVID-19, as the No. 1 patient safety concern for this year .

Overall preparedness for pandemic response and supply chain and drug shortage concerns also made the top 10 list.

Essentially, the COVID-19 pandemic made the ECRI list because it “threatens patients and staff directly and indirectly and has been a disruptive force in healthcare and in our daily lives,” the organization said. “Beyond that, the pandemic has laid bare some of the most entrenched problems in healthcare.”

Dive Insight:

ECRI’s 2020 list of top patient safety concerns focused on missed and delayed diagnoses and maternal health. For 2019 it highlighted the appropriate use of test results in EHRs and antimicrobial stewardship.But for 2021, racial and ethnic disparities — which had never been on ECRI’s radar in past surveys — were considered the top concern. That suggests that the organization has been prompted by COVID-19 to take a more holistic view of the issues in the U.S. healthcare system, as opposed to focusing on a few narrow concerns.Racial disparities in healthcare delivery had […]

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