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Medical Product Safety

Medical Product Safety

Goal

Ensure the safe use of medical products.

Overview

The Medical Product Safety objectives for 2020 focus on overall improvement of patient treatment and appropriate use of medical products. Medical products include drugs, biological products, and medical devices. These objectives reflect strong scientific support for safe use of medical products, which promotes better health among Americans.

Why Is Medical Product Safety Important?

Increasing appropriate use and monitoring adverse effects of medical products will:

  • Decrease adverse events and harmful reactions by focusing safety efforts.
  • Improve the overall effectiveness of treatment by reducing harm from medical products.
  • Further personalize medical treatment.

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Understanding Medical Product Safety

Many factors influence the safety of medical products and their effects on patients. These factors include:

  • A patient’s genetic make-up and physiological condition
  • Drug composition (ingredients), manufacturing, and labeling
  • Appropriate use
  • Monitoring for adverse effects

Incorrect use and inadequate monitoring of many medical products can cause adverse effects. For this reason, greater focus and emphasis on the safe use of such products is critical. Successfully reducing adverse events that result from medical products will improve overall treatment and increase the number of patients who benefit from medical products.

Emerging Issues in Medical Product Safety

An important focus for the improvement of medical product safety is the expanded use of health information technology. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is coordinating efforts to develop a national health information technology infrastructure that would include electronic medical records, digital prescribing programs, and electronic decision-support programs.* The system is intended to improve health care quality and patient safety by:

  • Reducing medical errors.
  • Improving communication to better inform and empower consumers.
  • Enhancing the capacity of postmarket surveillance to promptly and efficiently detect previously unknown problems with medical products.

Continued and innovative efforts are necessary to improve medical product safety and to meet the objectives for 2020.

References

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