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Three Lessons Learned to Reduce Alarm Fatigue and Improve Alarm Management and Patient Safety in Hospitals
Date:6/19/2013

">Kelly Creighton Graham, RN, BS. ""Monitor Alarm Fatigue: Standardizing Use of Physiological Monitoring and Decreasing Nuisance Alarms".

Reproduced below are three tips for decreasing alarm fatigue from their research:

Tip #1 - Use "Smart Alarm" Technology: Using "smart alarm" technology that brings together a number of physiological parameters may recognize and reduce clinically insignificant alarms while accurately reflecting the patient's condition and preserving clinically significant alarm vigilance.

Tip #2 – Reduce Alarm Duplication: Cvach and Graham describe an example "The alarms for high and low heart rate were the same as the bradycardia and tachycardia alarms. Although how the monitor calculates bradycardia varies somewhat from how it calculates heart rate low, and how the monitor calculates tachycardia differs from how it calculates heart rate high, the task force thought that the monitor alarm did not need to sound twice; therefore, the alarms for heart rate high and low were moved to message level and the alarms for bradycardia and tachycardia were increased to warning level."

Tip #3 - Revise Alarm Default Settings: In their research, Cvach and Creighton Graham were able to decrease critical monitor alarms by 43 percent from baseline. As they explain, one of the changes was to "revise the default settings for the unit's monitor alarms, including parameter limits and levels, so that alarms that occurred were actionable and clinically significant."

For the other two lessons learned about alarm fatigue and better alarm management, please visit www.ppahs.org

About PPAHS

The Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety (PPAHS) is an advocacy group devoted to improving patient he
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SOURCE Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety
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