Medical device alarms provide essential warnings to alert caregivers of changes in a patient’s condition. When alarms work well, the environment of care is enhanced. When alarms don’t work well, they pull caregivers away from other duties and other patients — or worse, train caregivers to ignore the alarm sounds altogether. Alarms that are ignored can and have resulted in patient deaths.
Experts agree that resolving problems with medical device alarms requires interdisciplinary effort and buy-in from a wide array of players at the highest levels.
- Alarms Summit Publication, December 2011
- Medical Device Alarms Summit, October 4-5, 2011, Herndon, VA
Alarm safety, one of healthcare’s most high-profile and intractable problems, was the focus of this summit convened by AAMI, the American College of Clinical Engineering (ACCE), and the ECRI Institute.
- Alarms Horizons Spring 2011
AAMI Standards and Guidance
- ANSI/AAMI HE75:2009, Human factors engineering—Design of medical devices
- ANSI/AAMI/IEC 60601-2-27:2011, Medical electrical equipment—Part 2-27: Particular requirements for the basic safety and essential performance of electrocardiographic monitoring equipment
AAMI Foundation's Healthcare Technology Safety Institute (HTSI)
- HTSI Clinical Alarms
- Safety Innovation Series–A series of papers to help healthcare organizations find innovative solutions to improve technology-related patient safety
- Free Webinars, with slides and recordings, hosted by HTSI and healthcare organizations
- National Patient Safety Goal on Alarm Management The Joint Commission, July, 2013
- Sentinel Event Alert Issue 50: Medical device alarm safety in hospitals The Joint Commission, April 8, 2013
- 2011 National Clinical Alarms Survey: Perceptions, Issues, Improvements, and Priorities of Healthcare Professionals, A Project of the Healthcare Technology Foundation
- FDA: Take Precautions with Audible Alarms on Ventilators (Article reprinted from Nursing 2011, September issue)
- FDA: Alarming monitor problems (Article reprinted from Nursing2009, September issue)
- ECRI Institute Alarm Safety Resource Site
- Healthcare Technology Foundation: Clinical Alarms Management and Integration
- Hospital alarms graphic, Boston Globe