Reducing Alarm Fatigue, Improving Patient Care

Posted by Cathy Swenson, RN, BSN, MA on March 29, 2018
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alarm managementHospitals are noisy environments—just ask any nurse how many bells, whistles and alarms they hear during a 12-hour shift. Depending on the hospital unit, the number of alarms per patient per day can reach several hundred, resulting in thousands of alarm signals on every unit and tens of thousands throughout the hospital every day, according to the Joint Commission.

Most bedside medical devices are alarm-equipped. While these devices are critical to helping clinicians deliver high quality care, the Joint Commission estimates that between 85 and 99 percent of alarm signals do not actually require clinical intervention. The lack of interoperability and the similar sounds can also lead to alarm fatigue and desensitization, resulting in medical errors and decreased patient safety. According to the ECRI Institute, which ranked missed alarms as its second-highest technology hazard in 2016, patients are put at risk when:

  • An alarm condition is not detected by a medical device, such as a ventilator
  • A condition is detected but not communicated to a staff member who can respond
  • A condition is communicated to clinical staff but not addressed due to staff ignoring the alarm or responding incorrectly

Patient safety is of utmost importance, which is why it is critical to make clinical alarms more meaningful and to prioritize alarm management. Amplion can help. Our Amplion Alert Platform is the industry’s first Care Assurance Platform, and our alarm management technology helps hospitals provide better patient care.

How does it work? Alarm input devices are installed in patient rooms to support the specific bedside devices that may be used. Each bedside device is plugged into its own color-coded jack. Our system then detects each alarm type as a unique alert, which appears at the nurse station and on large hall monitors. Caregivers are alerted on their smart phone device of specific needs, and alarms are filtered with wait times to help reduce non-actionable items and alarm fatigue. Even better, hospitals can customize their system to match the organization’s own protocols and preferences. When combined with Amplion’s next-generation nurse call system and messaging capabilities, hospitals are better equipped to provide higher-quality, timely, in-room care.

To learn more about the Amplion Alert Platform, and how we can help your hospital reduce alarm fatigue and improve patient safety, schedule a demo today.

Topics: Blog, Alarm Fatigue

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