AAMI News July 2017

AAMI Foundation Awards First Research Grants

The AAMI Foundation has named the first recipients of funding from the Mary K. Logan Research Awards Program. The two grants, worth a total of $80,000, will go to researchers at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in Ohio and Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise, ID, which is part of the Trinity Health System.

This awards program, which was named in honor of AAMI’s former president and CEO, was established in 2016 with a gift from the association’s Board of Directors. It is intended to support research and initiatives that focus on improving patient safety and eliminating morbidity and mortality associated with the use of healthcare technology.

“In the age of evidence-based medicine, well-designed scientific studies are vital for creating and implementing meaningful change,” said Marilyn Neder Flack, senior vice president of patient safety initiatives at AAMI and executive director of the AAMI Foundation. “The proposals submitted by Cincinnati Children’s and Trinity Health really stood out because they were innovative and addressed significant unmet needs. We are extremely excited to be able to fund these projects and look forward to seeing the impact they have on patient outcomes.”

The team from Cincinnati Children’s, led by Amanda Schondelmeyer, assistant professor of pediatrics, will focus on developing evidence- and consensus-based guidelines for the use of continuous pulse oximetry and cardiorespiratory monitoring in hospitalized children. That team was awarded $45,000.

“There are currently no comprehensive guidelines for pulse oximetry and cardiorespiratory monitoring in hospitalized children. Failing to monitor patients likely to benefit from monitoring can result in unrecognized deterioration and death; however, unnecessary monitoring in patients unlikely to benefit can contribute to alarm fatigue and harm,” Schondelmeyer said. “Upon publication, the guidelines we develop will be available for clinical use to standardize and improve pediatric care on a national level.”

At Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center, lead investigator Melanie Wright will focus on another technology-related safety issue: alarm fatigue. Wright and her team plan to capture the needs of hospital nurses and nursing assistants to determine which categories of alarm situations are most important to convey through sound. That team was awarded $35,000 for its work.

“The IEC 60601-1-8 standard organizes alarm situations in a way that may not appropriately differentiate situations that are most useful in the context of in-hospital nursing care where audible alarms are most needed,” Wright said. “There is a need to validate or, if relevant, prioritize alternatives to this organization in order to design audible alarms that are both understandable and useful.”

The results of this project are expected to inform new alarm sound sets that are anticipated to be adopted into future versions of the IEC design standard.

Later this summer, the AAMI Foundation will solicit proposals for its next round of grants.