Alarm signals are disrupting patients’ recovery and exhausting clinical staff, according to a commentary published by Bernoulli Chief Nursing Officer Jeanne Venella, DNP, MS, RN, CEN, CPEN, in the Spring 2017 issue of AAMI Horizons.
“Drawing Up a New Game Plan to Reduce Alarm Fatigue” notes that 85 percent to 99 percent of alarms require no intervention on the part of clinical staff. In addition to alarm fatigue, this growing problem represents a significant risk to patient safety if caregivers arbitrarily adjust threshold settings on devices or shut them off completely.
The problem has become so severe that the Joint Commission made clinical alarm management a priority with its National Patient Safety Goal (NPSG.06.01.01), mandating that hospitals take definitive steps to implement policies and procedures to safely reduce and prioritize clinical alarms.
Venella explores the logical steps hospitals and health systems should take to get their alarm issue under control, including:
- Assessing the current state of the clinical alarm environment, identifying and developing targets for reduction, and evaluating appropriate interventions, policies, and standards.
- Performing a baseline alarm management study to separate clinically relevant alarms from non-actionable alarms and managing the ever-growing number of alarm-enabled medical devices.
- Devising standards and strategies for executing on a clinical alarm management program
Writes Venella, “Alarm management is a classic example of interdisciplinary leadership, involving clinical, IT, biomedical engineering, and other departments. Alarm management is also much more than simply reducing non-actionable alarms; it’s a gateway for more seamless care and a way for hospitals to leverage hard data to make continuous improvements to its care and response processes.”
203 Episode of RN FM Radio,
The Alarming Truth at the Bedside of Nursing with Jeanne Venella, DNP, Chief Nursing Officer of Milford, CT-based Bernoulli,
is an informative, funny, personable,and extensive discussion of the issue of alarm fatigue, the risk for patients, the process and governance needed to address it and the capabilities of Bernoulli One to not just manage alarms but actually reduce them. The best part of the interview is probably when one of the nurse hosts mentioned that by 2020, hopefully all nurses/hospitals will have Bernoulli in place to ease their alarm woes
The 55-minute RN FM Radio broadcast on alarm fatigue can be heard here: http://rnfmradio.com/episode203 – this page also features a full-length article, as well as links to resources on the Bernoulli website and social media.
Hospitals find ways to effectively address the problem of Alarm proliferation.
Conquering the noise.
As of January 2016, TJC’s National Patient Safety Goals mandated that hospitals take definitive steps to implement policies and procedures to safely reduce and prioritize the number of primary and secondary alarms. The ECRI Institute ranked alarm proliferation as the second top technology hazard in 2016,
In the May issue of Healthcare Risk Management entitled “Can alarm fatigue be conquered? Yes, say hospitals cutting the noise” this article addresses the problem and solutions. To see how Donna M. Reinholdt, HSC Director of Corporate Risk Management and Compliance, and Connie Dills, Respiratory Practice Manager at HSC are addressing issue click the link below to read the article.
You can see the full article by clicking here.
Bernoulli We don’t just manage alarms, we help reduce them!