Pediatric mental health the top patient safety concern in 2023: ECRI

Nonprofit safety organization ECRI has listed pediatric mental health the top patient safety threat in 2023.

This threat was recognized because of the sharp increase in depression and anxiety among children due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a March 13 news release from the organization. 

Although rates of depression and anxiety have been steadily increasing since 2017 due to the impact of social media, gun violence and other socioeconomic factors, the pandemic increased those challenges to crisis levels, according to ECRI President and CEO Marcus Schabacker, MD, PhD.

"This crisis is disproportionately affecting historically marginalized communities," Dheerendra Kommala, MD, chief medical officer at ECRI, added in the release. "Structural barriers and bias block access to high-quality mental healthcare for youth of color and LGBTQ youth despite the fact they are more likely to experience depression and anxiety."

The list was released in conjunction with Patient Safety Awareness Week, which runs March 12-18.

View the complete list of patient safety threats here.

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