Twas the Night Before Clinical Surveillance – a holiday poem adapted from the poem from: Clement Clarke Moore (1779 – 1863) by Mary Jahrsdoerfer, Ph.D., RN Bernoulli Healthcare
several years into my career, I began to notice that these little moments were being consumed by other tasks. I wondered how I was actually spending my time each shift—and it soon became apparent that most of my time was spent interfacing with technology in ways that were not helping me be a better caregiver to my patients.
It’s easy to consider a new hardware or software solution and imagine its transformative potential. But a poorly implemented system that did not evaluate the impact to the clinical workflow can just as easily exacerbate inefficiencies and reduce the overall quality of patient care.
The successful implementation of real-time patient safety initiatives has long been a goal of health system leaders. Unfortunately, parsing alarms from individual medical devices, reliance on physical spot checks of patients, and the lack of rules-based advanced analytics to assess a patient’s current condition in real-time or identify signs of deterioration puts that achievement out of reach for many hospitals and health systems.
ECRI’s Top 10 Technology Hazards report for 2019 pertain to alarm settings on mechanical ventilators and multi-parameter physiologic monitors, respectively, that have led to patient harm, principally through the actions of missing clinically-actionable alarms due to inaccurate alarm sensitivity and specificity.