AAMI News April 2018

Citing Progress, Two AAMI Foundation Safety Coalitions Wrap Up Work

After more than three years of promoting the continuous electronic monitoring of patients on opioids, one of the AAMI Foundation’s initial coalitions has disbanded. A second coalition that has focused on infusion therapy safety is winding down its work this year.

During their tenure, the National Coalition to Promote the Continuous Monitoring of Patients on Opioids and the National Coalition for Infusion Therapy Safety have led the way in reducing preventable patient harm by developing action plans, best practices, and resources for healthcare delivery organizations, according to coalition members.

Continuous Monitoring of Patients on Opioids

Thank You to These Industry Partners for Their Support

National Coalition to Promote the Continuous Monitoring of Patients on Opioids

  • Diamond: BD, Connexall, ICU Medical, Masimo, Medtronic
  • Platinum: Mallinckrodt
  • Gold: EarlySense, GE, Sotera
  • Bronze: Bernoulli

National Coalition for Infusion Therapy Safety

  • Diamond: BD, ICU Medical
  • Platinum: Baxter, BBraun, Ivenix, Smiths Medical
  • Gold: Cerner
  • Bronze: Fresenius Kabi, Safen Medical Products, Zyno Medical


When it launched in November 2014, the main objective of the National Coalition to Promote the Continuous Monitoring of Patients on Opioids was to help educate and encourage hospitals to adopt continuous electronic monitoring for all patients on parenteral opioids and build a business case for the technology. Over the years, the coalition hosted eight patient safety seminars; published numerous articles, case studies, and other resources; and produced a nationally broadcast video.

For Frank Overdyk, an anesthesiologist for the Roper St. Francis Health System in Charleston, SC, who helped lead the coalition, the group’s biggest successes were “raising awareness that a solution to ‘dead in bed’ exists, is currently available, and should be mandated for all healthcare facilities” and “empowering healthcare organizations with an action plan for evaluating and adopting continuous monitoring.”

“The coalition has given healthcare delivery organizations a roadmap for implementing strategies to eliminate completely preventable deaths from opioid analgesia on the ward,” Overdyk said. “The roadmap is derived from educational programs, workflow processes, and technology that the AAMI Foundation assembled from hospitals that have successfully implemented continuous monitoring as part of a safety culture that will not tolerate preventable harm in any of their patients, not just most of their patients.”

Overdyk hopes the work of the coalition will prompt a new standard of care for continuous monitoring that “finally displaces an antiquated, ineffective, and dangerous standard that monitors vital signs on a ward only once every four hours.”

Infusion Therapy Safety

Since it launched in March 2015, the National Coalition for Infusion Therapy Safety has worked to improve drug library compliance, reduce nonactionable pump alarms, and promote multiple-line education. It has hosted more than a dozen patient safety seminars, published a series of case studies to reduce patient harm related to infusion pumps, and developed a library of other resources.

“Hospitals, and most importantly their patients, continue to benefit from the collective knowledge of the coalition’s members that has been captured in white papers, patient safety webinars, regional events, and other resources available on the AAMI Foundation’s website,” said coalition member Rich Zink, who is the managing director of the Regenstrief National Center for Medical Device Informatics operations at Purdue University. “Hopefully, hospitals across the United States—and around the world—will leverage the coalition’s deliverables for years to come.”

The National Coalition for Infusion Therapy Safety will release its final publication, the fourth in its “Infusion Therapy Quick Guide” series, later this year. The guide will focus on reducing infusion pump alarms. For more information about the AAMI Foundation, visit www.aami.org/foundation.