How Much Math Do I Need To Know For Hacking Patient Safety: Vigilance, Cyber Awareness, and Take Action

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Patient Safety: Vigilance, Cyber Awareness, and Take Action

Regulatory requirements, such as the Joint Commission and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, require that safety inspections be performed at regular intervals to ensure patient safety. The Nursing Practice Act also requires nurses to operate all equipment safely and use medical devices correctly during patient care. When new equipment is introduced into a patient care area, a competency check should be performed on the responsible staff who will be using the equipment. This competency verification is normally kept in the employee’s personnel file for future reference if needed.

Nurses are taught at some point in their training to always look at the electrical cords of all equipment because a frayed cord is a potential fire hazard. This remains true. The temperature of the solutions used in heating and cooling pads or blankets can also pose a risk of injury to the patient if the liquid is too hot or too cold. Burns have resulted from inadequate temperature regulation associated with a variety of patient care treatment devices. As crazy as it sounds, a simple non-invasive blood pressure cuff has caused patient harm. The device was inflated to extreme pressures intermittently over a period of time that eventually caused permanent nerve damage to the patient’s arm, resulting in a clawed hand. A list of equipment often involved in patient care issues includes, but is not limited to, the following: volumetric infusion pumps, patient-controlled pain pumps, blood glucose monitoring devices, heating pads, blankets cooling/warming, non-invasive blood pressure cuffs, nasal cannula tubes, leg immobilizers, patient lifts and continuous positive airway pressure machines. An injury that exposed an elderly person’s Achilles tendon was the result of a leg immobilizer. The patient’s skin was not checked regularly and as ordered by the doctor to detect it.

Cyber ​​risk

It seems obvious that inspecting medical equipment and/or devices at regular periodic intervals is a patient safety issue. Inspection or evaluation of the proper functioning of medical equipment should be an additional consideration at the time of or immediately following a rapid response event. We live in a world where incredible cyber technology exists, so healthcare providers must now consider the possibility that technical equipment has malfunctioned and may originate from a cyber source. This possibility would never have been considered before. Hacking Healthcare IT in 2016 was published by the Critical Infrastructure Institute which describes how devices that are Bluetooth-enabled and have access to the Internet, such as defibrillators-automatic implantable defibrillators and pacemakers, are at risk , patient-controlled pain pumps and insulin pumps. to be hacked or reprogrammed.

Act:

1. Be hypervigilant and open to the possibility of contributing factors never considered before.

2. Perform an inspection of room equipment at the time of the event and thoroughly inspect it as soon as possible after a fast response or code situation. If in doubt, remove the equipment from circulation; send it to biomedical engineering for inspection and record your action in an incident report, occurrence report, or deviation report (whatever your institution may call the form). Let trained biomedical engineering professionals determine when to return equipment of concern to available inventory.

3. Check the programmed medication rates on the infusion pumps. Sometimes the programming is wrong and guess who will be held responsible? That’s you! Check the bombs by doing the math yourself.

4. Record the temperature on any equipment or device that displays a temperature. For example: liquid warmers, blanket/pad warmers, heating/cooling blankets, crib warmers, etc. When the temperature is recorded, the medical record conveys that the health care provider was paying attention to details that will support your clinical competence should it be. questioned

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