Patient Safety, Practices & Tips

Selecting Patient Monitoring Systems

The Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety released a clinical education podcast – Selecting Patient Monitoring Systems.

“We are often asked by our clinical followers what patient monitoring systems that we would recommend,” said Michael Wong, JD (Founder/Executives Director). “To help with their decision making process, we have produced a clinical education podcast to provide some guidance on selecting patient monitoring devices.”

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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:”

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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.

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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:

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Opioid Safety, Respiratory Compromise

Opioids Can Cause Adverse Events and Patient Deaths: ECRI Institute Patient Safety Organization’s Deep Dive Analysis

Despite the focus on appropriate use of opioids for pain management, ECRI Institute Patient Safety Organization (PSO) found that there are many hospitals that continue to experience opioid-related adverse events and deaths. To help prevent further patient harms and deaths, PSO conducted a deep dive analysis of adverse events related to opioids in the acute care setting.

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Patient Safety

Opioid Safety is again an ECRI Top-10 Health Technology Hazards for 2017

The ECRI Institute released its annual list of top-10 health technology hazards. ECRI’s top 10 technology hazards should be top of mind for clinicians.

By Sean Power

The ECRI Institute released its annual list of top-10 health technology hazards. These hazards have major patient safety implications and should be top-of-mind for all clinicians and hospitalists who use health technology.

ECRI Institute 2017 Top-10 Health Technology Hazards report cover

According to the authors of the report:

“Patients receiving opioids—such as morphine, hydromorphone, or fentanyl—are at risk for drug-induced respiratory depression. If not detected, this condition can quickly lead to anoxic brain injury or death. Thus, spot checks every few hours of a patient’s oxygenation and ventilation are inadequate.

“ECRI Institute recommends that healthcare facilities implement measures to continuously monitor the adequacy of ventilation of these patients and has recently tested and rated monitoring devices for this application.”

Last year, we interviewed Stephanie Uses, PharmD, MJ, JD, Patient Safety Analyst at ECRI Institute, to look at how hospitals and other healthcare facilities can prevent harm and death to patients with improved opioid safety. It is still relevant today.

Here is the interview in full.

You can also read the transcript here.

Must Reads

Patient Safety Weekly Must Reads (November 18, 2016)

This week in #patientsafety, we shared our findings from our survey on responses to the Surgeon General’s letter on the opioid epidemic and put venous thromboembolism in the spotlight with a new partnership with World Thrombosis Day. From around the web, a mother penned an article about the tragic and preventable death of her son, Minnesota respiratory therapists are recognized for implementing a program to detect respiratory depression at St. Cloud Hospital in St. Cloud, MN, and the ECRI Institute released its top ten healthcare technology hazards of 2017 (undetected opioid-induced respiratory depression yet again makes the top five).


Physicians on Surgeon General’s Letter on Opioid Epidemic: Survey Results. In August, the Surgeon General issued a letter to physicians urging them to take a part in combating the opioid epidemic. We conducted a survey to gauge reactions to the Surgeon General’s appeal. Read More

Alarm Fatigue, Respiratory Compromise

Better Alarm Management Improves Patient Safety and Clinician Workflow

Managing alarms on physiologic monitors, like pulse oximeters that measure blood oxygenation and capnography that assesses the adequacy of ventilation, is a critical patient safety issue. As the first comprehensive national survey of patient-controlled analgesia practices by the Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety found, 90 percent of hospitals believe that reducing false alarms would increase use of patient monitoring devices. Read More

Alarm Fatigue, Practices & Tips

Clinical Tip: Alarm Fatigue the Newest Clinical Hazard

By Lynn Razzano RN, MSN, ONCC (Clinical Nurse Consultant)

Increasingly we are seeing publications, alerts and evidence of the clinical phenomena entitled: “Alarm Fatigue”. What is the scope of this latest hazard and what are the new implications for clinical practice change. Read More