Alarm, Alert, and Notification Overload

September 26, 2019 | Evaluations & Guidance


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  1. More than ever before, clinicians have to divide their attention between direct patient care tasks and responding to information from medical devices and health IT systems. As the number of devices that generate alarms, alerts, and other notifications increases, so too does the risk that the clinician will become overwhelmed, creating the potential for a missed or inappropriately addressed notification (e.g., clinician acknowledged but then forgot to address at the bedside).

  2. The problem of alarm overload has been recognized in healthcare for years. Just as important to consider, however, is the global notification burden—that is, the combination of alarms, alerts, and other notifications from all sources, not just from a single medical device or source.

  3. Sources of notifications that...

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