Article Envisions How Integrated, Intelligent Clinical Alarm Systems Could Improve Patient Safety

March 5, 2014 | Strategic Insights for Health System


Healthcare risk managers may be interested in a viewpoint article, published online March 3, 2014, in the Journal of the American Medical Association, that discusses clinical alarm safety and how these alarm systems might be redesigned from a patient-centric perspective. First, the authors suggest creating an alarm priority classification, distinguishing those that are critical from those that are clinically unnecessary. They note that the use of any audible or visual alert that does not signify a clear or potential risk in the context of its implementation should be carefully reconsidered to reduce noise, as well as any critical alarms that have an off or mute function, because no clinically relevant alert should ever need to be turned off. Second, the authors state it is important to consider how and when alarms manifest, as systems that alert must be separated from those that inform.

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