July 6, 2017
Amber Bauer, email@example.com 703-253-8262
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.”
Developing Guidelines for Continuous Monitoring of Hospitalized Children
The AAMI Foundation awarded $45,000 to a Cincinnati Children’s research team, led by Amanda Schondelmeyer, assistant professor of pediatrics. The group will focus on developing evidence- and consensus-based guidelines for the use of continuous pulse oximetry and cardiorespiratory monitoring in hospitalized children.
“Currently in children's hospitals, there is little guidance for doctors on which patients benefit most from continuous monitors,” Schondelmeyer said. “Failing to monitor patients who are 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. Our guidelines will combine existing evidence and expert opinion to help doctors monitor the patients at highest risk of decompensation, leading to fewer meaningless alarms.”
With the funding they received from the AAMI Foundation, Schondelmeyer and her team plan to assemble a panel of experts to develop these guidelines and then publish them in a peer-reviewed journal, providing a “clear and immediate path to implementation.”
“The resources provided by the AAMI Foundation through The Mary K. Logan Research Award will allow our team to bring together multiple experts using a rigorous and well-tested method for creating consensus guidelines,” Schondelmeyer said. “Our team is excited by the prospect of providing guidelines that will help standardize and improve pediatric care on a national level, which was made possible with the resources provided by this award.”
Making Clinical Alarm Sounds More Meaningful
Although there are many initiatives underway to reduce nonactionable clinical alarms—the proliferation of which has led to the problem of “alarm fatigue”—auditory alarms serve a valuable purpose in hospitals, according to Melanie Wright, program director of patient safety research at Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center.
“However, humans are limited in their ability to recall what different sounds mean, and there is little consistency or standardization across different devices or systems to help clinicians interpret and appropriately respond to these sounds,” Wright said.
Because of this, Wright and her team are interested in capturing the needs of hospital nurses and nursing assistants to determine which categories of alarm situations are most important to convey through sound. They were awarded $35,000 by the AAMI Foundation to help conduct this research.
“Working on research supported by AAMI benefits our research team beyond the actual monetary support. It also provides visibility and access to the supportive AAMI community of care providers, researchers, and manufacturers. This access helps to ensure the generalizability and applicability of the research project,” Wright said.
The general requirements, tests, and guidance for alarm systems in medical electrical equipment and medical electrical systems are found in the IEC 60601-1-8 standard, which is currently being revised. Wright hopes that the results of this project will help inform any new alarm sound sets that are adopted in future versions of this standard.
“The outcome of our research will be a more consistent and understandable environment of sounds across the many devices in hospitals,” Wright explained. “Clinicians will be able to more easily interpret the meaning of sounds in order to respond with the right people and equipment at the right time, which will ultimately result in improved outcomes for patients.”
Later this summer, the AAMI Foundation will solicit proposals for its next round of grants. More information about the Foundation and its patient safety initiatives can be found at www.aami.org/foundation.
AAMI (www.aami.org) is a nonprofit organization founded in 1967. It is a diverse community of approximately 7,000 healthcare technology professionals united by one important mission—supporting the healthcare community in the development, management, and use of safe and effective healthcare technology.