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Alarm Fatigue: A Patient Safety Concern

Author(s): Sue Sendelbach, RN, PhD, CCNS, Marjorie Funk, RN, PhD, FAHA

Contact Hours: 1.00

CERP B: 1.00

Expires Dec 01, 2017

Topics: PatientSafety

Population: Lifespan

Role: Staff

Fee
Member: Free
NonMember: $10.00

Added to Collection

Activity Summary

Research has demonstrated that 72% to 99% of clinical alarms are false. The high number of false alarms has led to alarm fatigue. Alarm fatigue is sensory overload when clinicians are exposed to an excessive number of alarms, which can result in desensitization to alarms and missed alarms. Patient deaths have been attributed to alarm fatigue. Patient safety and regulatory agencies have focused on the issue of alarm fatigue, and it is a 2014 Joint Commission National Patient Safety Goal. Quality improvement projects have demonstrated that strategies such as daily electrocardiogram electrode changes, proper skin preparation, education, and customization of alarm parameters have been able to decrease the number of false alarms. These and other strategies need to be tested in rigorous clinical trials to determine whether they reduce alarm burden without compromising patient safety.

Objectives

  • Define the term “alarm fatigue.”
  • Discuss the Joint Commission’s National Patient Safety Goals related to alarm fatigue.
  • Compare and contrast false alarms, nonactionable alarms, and monitor appropriateness.

Continuing Education Disclosure Statement

Successful Completion

Learners must attend/view/read the entire activity and complete the associated evaluation to be awarded the contact hours or CERP. No partial credit will be awarded.

Disclosure

This activity has been reviewed by the Nurse Planner. It has been determined that the material presented here shows no bias. Approval of a continuing education activity does not imply endorsement by AACN or ANCC of any commercial products displayed or discussed in conjunction with the activity.

Accreditation

The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s (ANCC's) Commission on Accreditation. ANCC Provider Number 0012 (60 min contact hour). AACN has been approved as a provider of continuing education in nursing by the California State Board of Nursing California Provider number CEP01036 contact hours (50 min contact hour).

AACN programming meets the standards for most states that require mandatory continuing education contact hours for license and/or certification renewal. AACN recommends consulting with your state board of nursing or credentialing organization before submitting CE to fulfill continuing education requirements.