Alarm Fatigue

The Case for Continuous Surveillance Monitoring and Real-Time Analytics

In this article which was published in Healthcare Business Today, Michael Wong, JD (Founder and Executive Director, Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety) makes the case for continuous surveillance monitoring and real-time analytics.

The successful implementation of continuous surveillance monitoring may have substantial patient benefits. Unfortunately, analyzing notifications from individual medical devices, reliance on physical spot checks of patients, and the lack of rules-based advanced analytics to assess a patient’s current condition in real-time or to identify signs of deterioration is a goal that many hospitals and health systems still have not attained.

Read More

Alarm Fatigue

Dr. Leah Baron on Alarm Notification Systems and Identifying Actionable Alarms and Preventing False Alarms

Leah Baron, MD, who is Chief of The Department of Anesthesiology at Virtua Memorial Hospital, recently spoke with the Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety (PPAHS) in a clinical education podcast about the experience of Virtua Memorial Hospital in improving patient safety and reducing alarm fatigue.

Dr. Baron says that what began as a project to implement capnography monitoring to address opioid-induced respiratory depression quickly turned into a project to reduce nuisance alarms when monitoring resulted in too many false alarms:

Read More

Alarm Fatigue

Maria Cvach’s 6 Steps for Improving Alarm Management

Maria Cvach, DNP, RN, FAAN, who is director of policy management and integration for Johns Hopkins Health System, recently spoke with the Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety (PPAHS) about the experience of John Hopkins Hospital in improving patient safety and reducing alarm fatigue.

Clinical Education Podcast Features Maria Cvach on Reducing Alarm Fatigue

Maria Cvach

In a clinical education podcast that was released on PPAHS’s YouTube Channel, Ms. Cvach discussed how John Hopkins Hospital was ahead of the curve in managing alarm fatigue, which became The Joint Commission proclaimed as a national patient safety goal in 2014. Johns Hopkins Hospital had formed an alarm management committee in 2006:

Read More

Alarm Fatigue

ECRI’s Advice on Alarm Management

ECRI Institute’s Marc Schlessinger, RRT, MBA, FACHE, who is senior associate at their applied solutions group, recently spoke with the Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety (PPAHS) on how to improve alarm management. The interview can be heard on the clinical education podcast, “Improving Patient Safety and Reducing Alarm Fatigue: The Right and Wrong Way to Use Continuous Surveillance Monitoring.”

Michael Wong, JD (Founder/Executive Director, PPAHS) noted the work that ECRI has done to help improve patient safety and reduce alarm fatigue citing ECRI’s recent “Top 10 Health Technology Hazards for 2018:”

Read More

Alarm Fatigue

Improving Patient Safety and Reducing Alarm Fatigue

The Physician-Physician Alliance for Health Safety released a clinical education podcast on improving patient safety and reducing alarm fatigue.

Discussing the right and wrong ways to use continuous surveillance monitoring are a  distinguished panel of experts:

  • Leah Baron, MD is chief of the department of Anesthesiology at Virtua Memorial Hospital;
  • Maria Cvach, DNP, RN, FAAN  is director of policy management and integration for Johns Hopkins Health System; and
  • Marc Schlessinger, RRT, MBA, FACHE is senior associate at ECRI Institute’s applied solutions group.

Read More

Alarm Fatigue

ECRI’s Top Ten Technology Hazards for 2018

Recently, ECRI Institute released its Top Ten Technology Hazards for 2018. The purpose behind ECRI’s yearly list is to promote the safer use of technology:

The safe use of health technology—from beds and stretchers to large, complex imaging systems—requires identifying possible sources of danger or difficulty with those technologies and taking steps to minimize the likelihood that adverse events will occur. This list will help healthcare facilities do that.

Number 4 on this list deals with how Missed Alarms May Result from Inappropriately Configured Secondary Notification Devices and Systems:

Read More

Alarm Fatigue, Hospital Acquired Conditions

Advances in Alarm Management and Surveillance Monitoring

Written by James Welch, CEO Arc Biomedical Consultants (


Mr. Welch is a Clinical Engineer with 17 yrs experience in hospitals and over 24 yrs as an executive in the medical device industry. His focus has been on applying technologies to improve patient safety through continuous surveillance monitoring. Mr. Welch has ten patents and articles in the field of wireless physiologic monitoring, surveillance systems and alarm management. He regularly contributes to the AAMI Foundation on alarm safety and is a voting member on a number of International Standards committees.

Early detection of physiologic deterioration is essential in improving patient safety in acute care hospital settings.  Patients in non-ICU settings who are recovering from surgery or special procedures are especially vulnerable because of private or semi-private room settings prevents direct observation and nurse to patient ratios are often 1:6. Experts in Rapid Response Systems (RRS) have arrived at a consensus that strengthening early detection through continuous monitoring is essential in improving the effectiveness of RRS but only if such systems do not impose a burden on the clinical staff. The high incidence of nuisance alarms and cost are two of the major barriers preventing broader adoption of continuous monitoring on the general care floor. Read More

Alarm Fatigue, Opioid Safety

3 Limitations to the Use of Pulse Oximetry

Image source:

Image source.

In PPAHS’ latest podcast, we spoke with Thomas W. Frederickson, MD, FACP, SFHM, MBA – lead author of the Society of Hospital Medicine RADEO guide (“Reducing Adverse Drug Events Related to Opioids”).  The RADEO guide is a comprehensive clinician manual created with the aim to decrease opioid-related adverse events in an inpatient setting. Read More

Alarm Fatigue

3 Questions to Ask About Post-Operative Care

by Mario Cattabiani (Director of Communications at Ross Feller Casey, LLP in Philadelphia)

Surgery can be a scary thing for any patient. Whether it is a minor procedure or life-saving necessity, all types of surgical procedures come with some degree of risk. To help ease your fears, it is a natural reaction to want to learn about everything that is going to happen during the procedure. You probably want to find out exactly what you need to do beforehand, what type of procedure is planned, who will be performing it, what the recovery will be like and when will you be able to go home. While all of these concerns and questions are completely valid, an important aspect of the process is left out.

Did you know that the first few hours after a surgical procedure are often just as risky as the actual operation? Just because you make it out of the operating room does not necessarily mean that you are in the clear just yet. While that can be a terrifying thought to come to grips with, it is the reality. Read More

Alarm Fatigue, Blood Clots, Must Reads

Are We Doing Enough to Prevent Patient Deaths? – Weekly Must Reads in Patient Safety (Feb 5, 2016)

Two patient deaths – one from alarm fatigue and one from a blood clot – make us stop and ask, “Are we doing enough to prevent patient deaths?

Death from Blood Clots

The Evening Post recently reported:

A teenage mother-to-be and her unborn baby were tragically killed by a DVT blood clot – just hours after finding out she was expecting a healthy boy.

Scarlett Holyoake, 18, was six months pregnant when she suddenly died from deep vein thrombosis after collapsing in her home.

Read More