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Call for More Collaboration Between Device Industry and Hospitals

The relationship between hospitals and the medical device industry needs more integration, proclaimed Mary Ann Hilliard, chief risk counsel for the Children's National Medical Center (Washington, DC) last week. Hilliard spoke at a risk management conference jointly held by AdvaMed, FDA, and Virginia Tech. The disconnected relationship causes problems when it comes to equipment use error among clinicians. Linking both industries would both improve processes and drive down errors.

From Hilliard's perspective, although technology in hospitals is incredibly innovative, until there is collaboration between both industries, hospitals won't be able to reduce sentinel events. She suggested the presence of more human factors engineers and reliability experts in hospitals, especially when conducting root cause analysis. Another part of the solution is more transparency in sharing data--however, with current liability issues, this is a major challenge.

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