Telemetry monitor watchers reduce bedside nurses’ Exposure to alarms by intercepting a high number of nonactionable alarms

Sonali Palchaudhuri, Stephanie Chen, Elaine Clayton, Anthony Accurso, Sammy Zakaria

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Cardiac telemetry, designed to monitor hospitalized patients with active cardiac conditions, is highly utilized outside the intensive care unit but is also resource-intensive and produces many nonactionable alarms. In a hospital setting in which dedicated monitor watchers are set up to be the first responders to system-generated alerts, we conducted a retrospective study of the alerts produced over a continuous 2-month period to evaluate how many were intercepted before nurse notification for being nonactionable, and how many resulted in code team activations. Over the 2-month period, the system gener ated 20,775 alerts (5.1/patient-day, on average), of which 87% were intercepted by monitor watchers. None of the alerts for asystole, ventricular fibrillation, or ventricular tachycardia resulted in a code team activation. Our results highlight the high burden of alerts, the large majority of which are nonactionable, as well as the role of monitor watchers in decreasing the alarm burden on nurses. Measures are needed to decrease telemetry-related alerts in order to reduce alarm-related harms, such as alarm fatigue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)447-449
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of hospital medicine
Volume12
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Leadership and Management
  • Internal Medicine
  • Fundamentals and skills
  • Health Policy
  • Care Planning
  • Assessment and Diagnosis

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