Many medical devices have alarm systems. These alarm-equipped devices are essential to providing safe care to patients in many health care settings; clinicians depend on these devices for information they need to deliver appropriate care and to guide treatment decisions. However, these devices present a multitude of challenges and opportunities for health care organizations when their alarms create similar sounds, when their default settings are not changed, and when there is a failure to respond to their alarm signals.
Sentinel Event Alert Issue 50: Medical device alarm safety in hospitals, highlights important issues and approaches to improving safety surrounding alarm-equipped medical devices in hospitals. To stimulate further discussion on this important patient safety issue, The Joint Commission held a web conference featuring an ECRI Institute representative and staff from Boston Medical Center who discussed their successful Cardiac Alarm Management Pilot.
The May 1, 2013 webinar on alarm safety
- Jim Keller, vice president of Health Technology Evaluation and Safety, ECRI Institute
- From Boston Medical Center:
- Deborah Whalen, M.S.N., M.B.A., APRN, FAHA , clinical service manager and nurse practitioner for Cardiology
- Patricia Covelle, B.S.N., M.M., R.N., director of Critical Care Nursing
- Jim Piepenbrink, BSBME, director of Clinical Engineering
- Ron Wyatt, M.D., medical director, Division of Healthcare Improvement, The Joint Commission