Date: July 18, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Steps Needed to Ensure That Home Medical Devices Are Easy-to-Use And Caregivers Are Well-Trained
For many reasons -- including the rising cost of health care, the aging of the
The report recommends that FDA promote the development of new standards for labels on medical devices intended for use in the home, as well as for the accompanying instructional materials, to ensure that they are understandable to nonprofessionals. Standards and guidance for labeling these devices are currently lacking.
FDA also should make it easier for people to report problems with medical devices they use in the home; its current systems for reporting adverse events are not easy for laypeople to use. In addition to making these systems user-friendly, the agency should collect more data that could help identify the root causes of adverse events involving devices and should develop and promote a more convenient way for lay users and professionals to report problems.
In addition, FDA and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology should work together to regulate, certify, and monitor applications that integrate medical devices and health information technologies -- for example, devices that monitor patients’ blood pressure and provide results to patients and their doctors. The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology should also work with other agencies to establish guidelines and standards for making consumer health information technologies usable and accessible.
The way home caregivers are trained needs to be improved, the report adds. Professional practice and advocacy groups should develop certification, credentialing, and training standards that will prepare formal caregivers to practice in the home. They should develop informational and training materials for informal caregivers as well.
The report recommends that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and other federal agencies collaborate to facilitate adequate access to health- and safety-related home modifications, especially for those who cannot afford them, enabling people whose homes contain safety hazards or obstacles that limit self-care to obtain the modifications they need.
The study was sponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering,
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Pre-publication copies of Health Care Comes Home: The Human Factors are available from the National Academies Press; tel. 202-334-3313 or 1-800-624-6242 or on the Internet at http://www.nap.edu. Reporters may obtain a copy from the Office of News and Public Information (contacts listed above).
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NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education
Committee on the Role of Human Factors in Home Health Care
David H. Wegman (chair)
Sara J. Czaja
Departments of Psychiatry and Behavioral
Sciences and Industrial Engineering;
Center on Research and Education for Aging and Technology Enhancement; and
Center on Aging
K. Eric DeJonge
Director of Geriatrics
Medical House Call Program
Daryle Jean Gardner-Bonneau
Bonneau & Associates; and
Adjunct Associate Professor
Michael Christopher Gibbons
Assistant Professor of Medicine, Public Health, and Health Informatics
Laura N. Gitlin
Judith Tabolt Matthews
Senior Research Associate, and
Smart Health and Well-being Program
National Science Foundation
UPS Foundation Professor of Gerontology, Policy, Planning, and Development
Robert M. Schumacher
Managing Director and Co-Owner
User Centric Inc.
Jennifer L. Wolff
Department of Health Policy and Management
Mary Ellen O’Connell