For Immediate Release
November 24, 2015
Allison Rafti, 703-525-4890

AAMI Foundation Releases Compendium to Help Hospitals with Alarm Management Goal

The AAMI Foundation has synthesized the knowledge, experience, and advice of leading practitioners into a toolkit designed to help healthcare organizations meet The Joint Commission’s National Patient Safety Goal on clinical alarms.

Clinical Alarm Management CompendiumStarting Jan.1, The Joint Commission will expect hospitals to establish and implement policies and procedures for managing clinical alarms, as this is when surveyors will start documenting noncompliance to the second phase of the goal.

“Noncompliance will be a direct finding, and the organization will have to submit a plan for corrective actions. Noncompliance also will be posted on Quality Check,” said Ronald Wyatt, MD, medical director of healthcare improvement for The Joint Commission. The Quality Check website provides detailed information about an organization’s performance and accreditation.

To assist in developing the necessary policies and procedures, the AAMI Foundation’s complimentary Clinical Alarm Management Compendium provides specific tips and outlines practices already being used by leading institutions. Among them are the following 10 ideas for safe alarm management:

  • Issuing a call to action, championed by executive leadership, which recognizes the challenges, risks, and opportunities of alarm management, and committing to solving them.
  • Bringing together a multidisciplinary team to spearhead action and build consensus.
  • Gathering data and intelligence to identify challenges and opportunities.
  • Prioritizing the patient safety vulnerabilities and risks to target with alarm management improvements.
  • Setting and sharing goals, objectives, and activities to address these vulnerabilities and risks.
  • Developing and piloting potential solutions.
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of improvements and making adjustments as needed.
  • Developing policies and procedures.
  • Educating staff to build and maintain competencies.
  • Scaling up and sustaining by creating ownership at the unit level and with continuous improvement.

In addition to outlining ways to implement these ideas, the compendium provides a set of default alarm parameters that could be used to benchmark alarm system settings. These parameters were developed from information reported in a survey conducted by the AAMI Foundation, and they represent responses from 17 of the 25 hospitals and healthcare system members of the National Coalition for Alarm Management Safety.

“No single institution has the ‘right’ answer that can be turned into an off-the-shelf solution. However, there is a lot we can learn from the practitioners who have been leading the way in meeting the complex challenges of alarm management for years. Their insights and best practices can be used to launch and guide an alarm management initiative, or strengthen one that’s already in progress,” said Marilyn Neder Flack, senior vice president of patient safety initiatives at AAMI and executive director of the AAMI Foundation.

To learn more about the best practices and comprehensive initiatives of healthcare systems and hospitals featured in the compendium, visit the AAMI Foundation's clinical alarms web page.

AAMI ( is a nonprofit organization founded in 1967. It is a diverse community of more than 8,000 healthcare technology professionals united by one important mission—supporting the healthcare community in the development, management, and use of safe and effective healthcare technology.