Excess noise from alarms puts patients at risk
Walk into a hospital intensive-care unit and hear the din. The sheer number—several hundred alarms per patient per day—can cause alarm fatigue. Nurses and other workers, overwhelmed or desensitized by the constant barrage, sometimes respond by turning down the volume on the devices, shutting them off or simply ignoring them—actions that can have serious, potentially fatal, consequences. Clinicians and patient-safety advocates have warned of alarm fatigue for years, but the issue is taking on greater urgency as hospitals invest in more-complex, often-noisy devices meant to save lives. Last month,the Joint Commission, which accredits hospitals, directed facilities to make alarm safety a top priority or risk losing their accreditation. The commission is requiring hospitals, starting in January, to identify the alarms that pose the biggest safety risks by unnecessarily adding noise or being ignored. By 2016, hospitals must decide who has the authority to turn off alarms.
- Senators Hear How Two-Midnight Rule Harms Patients, Hospitals
- 3 Management Lessons from a Supermarket Debacle
- Medicare Advantage Carriers See 'No Choice' But to Accept Cuts
- Physicians to Appeal 'Docs v. Glocks' Ruling in FL
- IOM Identifies GME Problems, Calls for Finance Changes
- Healthcare Costs Start With What We Eat
- Handshaking Spreads Germs. Get Over It.
- Revenue Cycles Get a Boost from Simple JPEG Files
- Hospitals Likely to Outsource ICD-10 at Launch
- Anatomy of 3 Health System Rebranding Efforts