Guidance and tools to help healthcare facilities improve alarm safety
This free educational site is intended to help you understand the issues and take steps to improve alarm safety in your facility. It includes links to guidance articles published by ECRI Institute through our various membership groups, articles from the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority, blog posts, and news.
ECRI Institute has decades of experience in analyzing hazards from medical devices. Most of the reports involving alarm problems are with physiologic monitors (including telemetry) and ventilators. (Watch our short video to learn how we can help you improve alarm safety in your organization.)
If you would like customized support, ECRI Institute offers an Alarm Management Safety Review with on-site assistance by experienced healthcare consultants. For inquiries, please contact us at (610) 825-6000, ext. 5655, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
2014 Top 10 Health Technology Hazards
ECRI Institute experts have identified clinical alarm hazards as the top potential danger area that looms large in hospitals and health systems today, as identified in our 2014 Top 10 Health Technology Hazards list.
Download the free report here.
Health Devices webinars
Joint Commission resources
ECRI Institute alarms-related guidance articles, policies, webinars, posters, and presentations
Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority alarms resources
Under contract with the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority, ECRI Institute facilitates the statewide Pennsylvania Patient Safety Reporting System. The following articles were published in the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Advisory.
Alarm-related blog posts by ECRI Institute staff
In the News: ECRI Institute comments on alarm safety
- Safe Signals, Health Facilities Management, 2/2014
- Silencing Many Hospital Alarms Leads To Better Health Care, NPR, 1/27/2014
- Joint Commission Warns of Alarm Fatigue: Multitude of Alarms From Monitoring Devices Problematic, JAMA, 6/12/2013
- Addressing Alarm Problems in the Emergency Room, Patient Safety and Quality Healthcare, 5/2013
- Hospitals Warned of Alarm Fatigue, The Boston Globe, 4/9/2013
- Connecticut Hospitals Mobilize to Tackle Alarm Fatigue, Connecticut Watchdog, 3/18/2013
- Hospitals Mobilize to Tackle Alarm Fatigue, theday.com, 3/18/2013
- ECRI Institute Honors the Johns Hopkins Hospitals for Innovations in Alarm Management, TechNation, 3/2013
- Addressing Alarm Problems in the Emergency Department, Emergency Medicine Patient Safety Foundation, 9/2012
- Alarm Fatigue Hazards: The Sirens are Calling, Patient Safety and Quality Healthcare, 5/2012
- "Alarm Fatigue" Reduction Efforts Underway by FDA, Joint Commission, FierceHealthIT, 3/26/2012
- "Alarm Fatigue" becomes Focus of FDA Attention, MedCity News, 3/26/2012
- Biomedical: Medical Alarm Hazards Signal Call for Action, Health Facilities Management, 3/21/2012
ECRI Institute's Health Devices material on alarm management (membership required)
- Alarm management as a patient safety goal: initial considerations, useful resources [guidance article]. Health Devices 2013 Aug;42(8):242-7.
- The life cycle of an alarm: A conceptual model for understanding clinical alarm hazards [guidance article]. Health Devices 2013 Sep;42(9):294-300.
- The path to alarm safety: a plan for reducing alarm hazards [guidance article]. Health Devices 2013 Dec;42(12): 408-12.
ECRI Institute's Healthcare Risk Control material on alarm management (membership required)
Alarm Enhancement Technologies
Alarm Notification Models
Clinical Alarm System Observation Form
ECRI Institute's Criteria for Clinical Alarms
Alarm Management as a Patient Safety Goal
The Life Cycle of an Alarm: A Conceptual Model for Understanding Clinical Alarm Hazards
Reduce the risk of alarm events for your patients and your facility.
Take your first step towards improving your alarm processes and the safety of your patients. To learn more, download the Alarm Management brochure. To schedule an Alarm Management Safety Review in your facility, contact us at (610) 825-6000, ext. 5655, or e-mail email@example.com.