Device Solutions Needed to Reduce Excessive, Often False Physiologic Monitoring Alarms

October 29, 2014 | Strategic Insights for Health System


​An opportunity exists to improve physiologic monitoring and reduce alarm fatigue through device solutions, conclude the authors of a study published October 22, 2014, in PLOS One. They used a prospective data collection design with a state-of-the-art technology infrastructure to collect all available physiologic waveforms, computer vital sign measurements, clinician alarm settings, and alarms that occurred over a period of 31 days in a large tertiary-quaternary medical center's five adult intensive care units. The data revealed that a total of 2,558,760 unique alarms occurred during the study period (1,154,201 arrhythmia alarms, 612,927 vital sign parameter alarms, and 791,632 technical alarms), including a total of 381,560 audible alarms, for an audible alarm burden of 187 per bed per day. Eighty-nine percent of the 12,671 annotated arrhythmia alarms were false-positives.

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