Medical Device Integration Blog

Are your medical devices configured to reduce alarm fatigue?

Posted by Monica Demers on May 05, 2015 @ 04:30 AM



Blog Series: Medical device integration addresses multiple health technology hazards

As we all know, alarms play an important role in patient care.  But an overload of alarms can be alarming.  Alarm fatigue is most often top of mind; however, missed or unrecognized alarms due to inappropriate alarm configuration, are major contributors to healthcare hazards, according to ECRI. 

Most healthcare professionals are familiar with the phenomenon in which the consistent din of unnecessary and non-critical alarms prevents clinicians from discerning true emergencies.  Interfacing with an alarm management system, medical device data can communicate patient information that helps in prioritizing alarms and alarm escalation to prevent clinician fatigue.

In addition, another major alarm issue is the failure to set parameters appropriately for a care area and an individual patient’s condition. Clinicians need to be presented  with appropriate data in near real time to help assure that alarm parameters are individualized for each patient.  Interacting with other systems, device data can be used to automate clinician reminders to review settings or even automate setting of alarm parameters entirely. 

Q: Have you personally experienced alarm fatigue? Has your facility implemented an alarm management system?

Q: Which is the bigger issue to patient safety?  Alarms that aren’t configured appropriately to the patient, or general alarm fatigue?


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Tags: Medical Device Integration, Patient Safety, Alarms and Alerts, Alarm Fatigue, Health IT, Predictive Analytics