Weekly Must Reads in Patient Safety (Nov 21, 2014)

After a brief pause to talk about the National Coalition to Promote Continuous Monitoring of Patients on Opioids, we are back to our weekly synopsis of patient safety articles and research.

If you haven’t yet signified your support for the Respiratory Compromise Institute (RCI), an initiative by the Physician-Patient Alliance that shines a spotlight on the various causes for medical conditions that precipitate respiratory compromise, then visit the RCI website and join us. Together we can tackle respiratory compromise.

This week’s must-reads capture the magnitude of alarm fatigue, a top safety priority at hospitals nation-wide.

Observational study counts alarms in ICUs to better understand alarm fatigue

The number of alarms collected during one month in five ICUs is “staggering” according to researchers who found that, in nearly 50,000 hours, 2.5 million unique audible and inaudible alarms occurred. The research calls for smarter monitors.

“No wonder” that doctors and nurses suffer from alarm fatigue

The Houston Chronicle’s Victoria Colliver offers commentary on the aforementioned research that found monitoring devices generated more than 2.5 million alarms in one month, saying it is “no wonder that clinicians suffer from ‘alarm fatigue’”.

Team-based approach cut alarm fatigue by 80 percent

Hat tip to @Krista_Bones for sharing this article in Fierce Healthcare. Some good commentary by Krista, who points out that patients and families get fatigued from all the alarms—not just clinicians.

National Coalition to Promote Continuous Monitoring of Patients on Opioids convened

A few must-read news releases in light of last week’s kick-off event for the National Coalition. We, of course, enthusiastically joined the cause. The American Association for Respiratory Care was in attendance, and PPAHS Advisor Dr. Frank Overdyk moderated a session titled “Latest Evidence: Opioids and Cardiopulmonary Arrest”.

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