National Coalition to Promote Continuous Monitoring of Patients on Opioids

The Unique Goal

Unlike past initiatives in this space, the AAMI Foundation's goal is to establish the business case—demonstrating strong financial justification and improved patient outcomes—to educate and encourage hospitals to adopt continuous monitoring for all patients on parenteral opioids.

New Video—for Patients and their Families

The use of opioids for pain management has always carried risks, but several factors over the past decades have contributed to a rise in adverse events for in-hospital patients receiving opioids. Patients and their families need to be aware that continuous monitoring of patients on opioids can save lives.

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The Vision

We recommend improving the safety for non-DNR*, patients receiving parenteral opioids by supplementing ongoing assessments of sedation level and respiratory status with continuous electronic monitoring and opioid sparing strategies (i.e. multimodal analgesia) for timely detection of respiratory decompensation. Experience from early adopters demonstrates that continuous respiratory monitoring combined with education, culture change, and process improvements—including effective management of clinical alarms—increases the quality of patient care in a financially sustainable manner.

Staging the approach: Hospitals may implement this vision by using a staged approach to address the necessary components, cited above, that are key to success, and by implementing continuous electronic monitoring for patients included under The Joint Commission’s Sentinel Event #49.

*When deemed appropriate by hospital policy.

Opioid Safety & Patient Monitoring
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This vision is endorsed by:

American College of Clinical Engineering (ACCE)
American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA)
American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC)
American Society for Pain Management Nursing (ASPMN)
Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation (APSF)
A Promise to Amanda
CHI Health–St. Francis
Consumers Advancing Patient Safety (CAPS)Hospital Quality Institute (HQI)
Infusion Nurses Society (INS)
Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP)
Leah’s Legacy
Mothers Against Medical Error
Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety (PPAHS)
Premier Safety Institute
San Diego Patient Safety Council

Co-Convening Organizations

The work of the AAMI Foundation’s National Coalition to Promote Continuous Monitoring of Patients on Opioids is intended to be a helpful resource for healthcare delivery organizations, so that every organization does not have to reinvent the wheel or start their continuous monitoring implementation from scratch. It does not constitute legal, regulatory, operational, or procedural advice, nor does it constitute a standard of care. It is essential that each healthcare delivery organization assess the material in the context of its own organizational needs, culture, technology, and priorities.



Diamond Level

Becton Dickinson






Early Sense

GE Healthcare

Sotera Wireless



San Diego Patient Safety Council