Horizons: Clinical Alarms—Managing the Overload

Clinical alarms are intended to improve patient care. They can improve care by arming clinicians with valuable information about a patient’s physiological state, tip off the signs of a patient’s deterioration, and route information to the person most able to help the patient.

However, too many nonactionable alarms can result in a sensory clutter that overwhelms clinicians and patients—a condition called “alarm fatigue.” In its annual ranking of healthcare technology hazards, ECRI Institute has consistently listed alarm management near the top.

This issue of Horizons explores several approaches to minimizing nonactionable alarms and improving clinical alarm management, including the design and use of secondary alarm notification systems, examining how alarms are classified, initiating cultural change, and looking for lessons from outside the healthcare technology industry.

View the Table of Contents.

AAMI thanks the following organizations for their support in promoting this edition of Horizons.

This issue includes substantial contributions from the AAMI’s Foundation National Coalition for Alarm Management Safety.

The contents of Horizons are available to AAMI members. To read the articles online, click the Access Online Issues link below.

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