News: Alarm Safety Toolkit Available From AACN

Editorial Contact:
Kristie Aylett
AACN Communications
(228) 229-9472

American Association of Critical-Care Nurses expands alarm safety resources with clinical toolkit

Exclusively for AACN members, NTI ActionPak assembles evidence-based resources, implementation tools into convenient online collection

ALISO VIEJO, Calif. — August 13, 2013 — The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) expands its growing body of evidence-based resources with a new clinical toolkit, NTI ActionPak: Strategies for Managing Alarm Fatigue.

Now available online to all AACN members, NTI ActionPak is filled with evidence-based strategies, resources and best practices for reducing the threat of environmental alarms to improve patient safety and increase workplace effectiveness.

The toolkit includes implementation tools and customizable resources that simplify the process of introducing new practices and sharing critical learning with peers, staff nurses and hospital leadership.

Anticipating the growing patient safety concerns related to alarm fatigue, AACN addressed the issue during several sessions of its May 2013 National Teaching Institute & Critical Care Exposition (NTI), and developed NTI ActionPak as a toolkit to support integration of new alarm management knowledge and best practices.

The complex problem of alarm fatigue gained additional urgency recently when The Joint Commission approved a new National Patient Safety Goal requiring hospitals to take specific actions related to alarm safety. Alarm hazards are also the Top Health Technology Hazard for 2013, as identified by patient safety organization ECRI Institute.

“As acute and critical care nurses, we rely on technology to augment clinical surveillance and enhance decision making — yet this very technology has the potential to negatively impact patient safety to the point of death,” said NTI ActionPak co-author Dave Hanson, RN, MSN, CNS, NEA-BC, assistant director of nursing, UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica, Calif., and past AACN president.

“With NTI ActionPak, AACN provides the direct care nursing community with a one-stop, hands-on resource to address the complicated and growing problem of alarm fatigue,” he added.

Developed by veteran nurse educators and recognized subject matter experts, NTI ActionPak includes:

  • A comprehensive teaching presentation with speaker notes
  • Templates for email messages, huddle scripts and newsletter articles
  • Journal Club discussion guide
  • AACN Practice Alert on alarm management
  • Sample performance improvement plan


The toolkit also features change implementation tools, including an overall guide for implementing change and one focused on specifically on alarm management, as well as a customizable gap analysis and change readiness survey.

AACN members can find NTI ActionPak by clicking on “Clinical Toolkits” under the Clinical Practice menu on AACN’s website.

Related AACN alarm management clinical resources available to nonmembers include an on-demand webinar (Managing Alarm Fatigue: New Approaches and Best Practices) with associated implementation tools and online discussion forum, as well as an AACN Practice Alert on alarm management.

NTI ActionPak: Strategies for Managing Alarm Fatigue is the second topic-specific clinical toolkit developed by AACN. The first, Implementing the ABCDE Bundle at the Bedside, focuses on preventing complications in patients who are mechanically ventilated.

It was released after the NTI 2012 conference and is available to both AACN members and nonmembers in the Clinical Toolkits section of the AACN website.


About the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses: Founded in 1969 and based in Aliso Viejo, Calif., the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) is the largest specialty nursing organization in the world. AACN joins together the interests of more than 500,000 acute and critical care nurses and claims more than 235 chapters worldwide. The organization’s vision is to create a healthcare system driven by the needs of patients and their families in which acute and critical care nurses make their optimal contribution.

American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, 101 Columbia, Aliso Viejo, Calif. 92656-4109;
Phone: (949) 362-2000; Fax: (949) 362-2020; www.aacn.org; facebook.com/aacnface; twitter.com/aacnme