The use of opioids for treatment of acute post-operative pain is rather commonplace, but patients with obstructed sleep apnea are at risk for respiratory arrest and depression, which can lead to anoxic brain injury or death if left unattended, writes Bernoulli Chief Analytics Officer John Zaleski, PhD, CAP, CPHIMS, in an article published in HIMSS FutureCare.
However, continuous electronic monitoring of these patient populations presents considerable challenges to many hospitals and health systems, including lack of continuous bedside monitoring devices, alarm fatigue and lack of coverage for patients at risk.
Zaleski explores the technology, staff education, and real-time data requirements necessary to improve this patient safety threat.
Bernoulli Chief Nursing Officer Jeanne Venella, DNP, MS, RN, CEN, CPEN, and Chief Analytics Officer John Zaleski, PhD, CAP, CPHIMS, have published a new paper in PSQH on the unique challenges of—and innovative strategies for—alarm management and real-time data delivery in the care and management of patients at risk for respiratory depression.
The authors’ write, “The challenges associated with reducing respiratory events are significant and many, including the financial implications of adding costly monitoring devices and full-time, direct-care staff. Further, improvements to monitoring are clearly necessary.”
Venella and Zaleski explore potential technological, workflow and business solutions to this emerging patient safety issue. Read the article here.
It has been well-documented that patient populations managing chronic illnesses or co-morbidities, such as sleep apnea and obesity, are particularly vulnerable to respiratory depression. Current practices for monitoring patients receiving opioids are still not adequate or comprehensive. For example, reliance on periodic physical spot checks by direct-care clinical staff can leave patients largely unmonitored up to 96% of the time.
An award-winning not-for-profit community hospital chose Bernoulli One™ to enable real-time surveillance of post-operative patients who were at risk for respiratory depression. Following the success of that initial implementation, the hospital has subsequently expanded usage to all at-risk patients being monitored by pulse oximetry and capnography, while leveraging the Bernoulli platform for alarm management, reducing the estimated number of alarms by 78%.
According to the health system’s director of respiratory care services, “Bernoulli became just a part of our day-to-day operations. We’re able to safely monitor patients across the entire facility without the constant distraction and fatigue of responding to false alarms. Our nurses and respiratory therapists know it’s there and know it’s working.”
To read or download this case study please click this link: casestudy-patients-at-risk-of-respiratory-depression