​PLYMOUTH MEETING, PA—A nationwide initiative to improve alarm management, spurred into high gear by The Joint Commission’s 2014 National Patient Safety Goal, promises to be a big focus over the next few years. Now, with the January 2014 deadline looming for Phase I criteria, time is running out for hospitals to take action.

“Hospitals should think of their efforts to improve alarm management as an investment in their patients’ safety,” says James P. Keller, Jr., vice president, health technology evaluation and safety, ECRI Institute. “Because it’s a big undertaking, and the complete requirements for the National Patient Safety Goal have to be in place by 2016, hospitals would be wise to get started with their planning now."

To help hospitals, ECRI Institute, widely considered one of the nation’s leading experts on alarm safety, announces a comprehensive service to objectively re-examine and modify their current alarm management processes. The service works with hospitals to produce customized, realistic, and implementable solutions to enhance alarm management, reduce alarm fatigue, and ultimately improve patient safety.

"With our help, one of the nation’s leading health systems reduced nuisance alarms by about 50%, and established a practical alarm management plan for its new campus,” comments Keller.

ECRI Institute’s customized alarm safety service is built on four fundamental tenets, including the hospital’s culture, infrastructure, technology, and practices and policies.

“If hospitals truly want to improve their alarm management practices, they’ll need to start by re-examining their culture and the way they communicate about alarms,” says Rikin Shah, senior associate, ECRI Institute. “Adopting a proactive approach and having key conversations will help administrators and nurses take action on improving their alarm practices to diminish the likelihood of future alarm events.”

For many years, ECRI Institute has raised awareness about the patient safety risks from alarm fatigue. In fact, alarm hazards takes the No. 1 spot on its 2014 Top 10 Health Technology Hazards list, which is available as a free download.

For more information on ECRI Institute’s Alarm Safety Management Reviews, visit www.ecri.org/alarmsafety; contact us at (610) 825-6000, ext. 5655; consultants@ecri.org; or 5200 Butler Pike, Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462.


​About ECRI Institute
ECRI Institute, a nonprofit organization, dedicates itself to bringing the discipline of applied scientific research to healthcare to discover which medical procedures, devices, drugs, and processes are best to enable improved patient care. As pioneers in this science for 45 years, ECRI Institute marries experience and independence with the objectivity of evidence-based research. Strict conflict-of-interest guidelines ensure objectivity. ECRI Institute is designated an Evidence-based Practice Center by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. ECRI Institute PSO is listed as a federally certified Patient Safety Organization by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Find ECRI Institute on Facebook (www.facebook.com/ECRIInstitute) and on Twitter (www.twitter.com/ECRI_Institute). For more information, visit www.ecri.org.

For more information, contact:
Laurie Menyo, Director of Public Relations and Marketing Communications
(610) 825-6000, ext. 5310