We’ve compiled and continually update 3 areas of interest on Hospital Alarm Management.

1 Amplion Alert + Alarm Management Consulting Service

Of course, one is our communication system that allows clinical leaders to manage alarms in ways that help patients and caregivers, while delivering insightful data for managers.

Advanced Reporting

Reports Available from Amplion Alert

Since Amplion Alert notifies caregivers for typical medical device alarms on a med-surg floor, we provide reports on numerous alarm-related issues:

  • Response time
  • Alarm management performance by unit, shift or caregiver
  • Distribution of alarms by type of device, by room or by individual devices.

So, with a few clicks of a mouse, clinical management can identify dangerous situations and isolate the most likely root causes.

Here are two reports that illustrate this powerful capability.

In this first graph, we can see that almost half of the alarms are being generated in 2 out of 23 rooms — we certainly want to see what is happening in those rooms quickly. If we extend out to 5 patients, they are generating about 65% of the alarms. Management can probably reduce alarm fatigue by focusing on these 5 patients.

One of the other quick things we can do is examine the time it takes for alarms to self-cancel.

Advanced Reporting Sample 1

 

In this next example graph, we are looking at the possibility of putting a time-based filter of 10 seconds on the transmission of messages for ventilator alarms. The data shows that for the past 131 messages, this would have reduced the number of messages by 80 alarms (61% of the total) that self-cleared within 10 seconds.

Advanced Reporting Sample 2

 

 

 

 

 

To learn how Amplion can help your hospital with these reports and many more, contact us sales@amplionalert.com.

We think about alarm management every day and would be honored to work with you to identify the best ways to help your clinical team with your medical device alarms.

Consulting Overview

Technology advances have been a wonderful addition to healthcare and patient care. There are multiple clinical devices to support and monitor patients. Unfortunately, many in healthcare have not had the ability to manage and coordinate the additions of technology in clinical environments. This has impacted not only the patients, but the clinical teams attempting to care for patients and produce positive clinical outcomes.

The Joint Commission approved a new National Patient Safety Goal (NPSG) on alarms management requiring hospitals to gain an understanding of the sources and types of alarms in their facility. To date, there is limited guidance or a road map to accomplish this. Even educational tools such as webinars, which Amplion has sponsored, are short on specifics regarding methods to collect alarm data from devices in patient rooms, outside of the ICU.

Amplion has been in hospitals providing alarm management products and services for over five years. Our clinical consultants have worked closely with hospital management to address these issues.

While some patient bedside and telemetry monitoring systems collect data from a server and allow export of log files, this requires a great deal of effort and doesn’t address the multitude of other alarming devices, such as:

  • Ventilators
  • Portable Pulse Oximeters
  • Bipaps
  • IV pumps
  • Bed alarms
  • Chair pad alarms
  • Nurse calls

Stationing listeners on each hallway to identify and count type, frequency, and duration of alarms is not an adequate nor accurate methodology of assessment. The vast number of short duration alarms which contribute to alarm fatigue cannot be counted manually.

In response to requests from hospitals, Amplion is now offering a service to address these needs.

Amplion Alarm Management experts will seamlessly work with you and your teams to assess your current alarm state and make recommendations to manage alarms. Each recommendation is derived from the goals of:

  • Keeping the patient safe
  • Staying on top of their physiological status

Caring for not only the patient, but also the clinical team with regards to alarm fatigue and overall staff satisfaction

Scope of Work: Phase 1

Current State Assessment / Inventory

Alarm related equipment and policy assessment

  • Clinical/Technical assessment
    • Equipment in use
      • Name brand, model & model #
      • Number of each type brand by unit and total
      • Unit(s) placed
      • Maintenance Audit
      • Life cycle
      • Plans for replacement
      • Known issues related to type of equipment or staff related concerns
    • Current policies for alarm parameter settings
      • Responsible skillset
      • How/when can alarm parameter settings be changed?
      • Does the policy differ between units or specialties?
    • Current policies for alarm detection and response
      • Responsible skillset
      • Does the policy differ between units or specialties?
    • Current alarm documentation/logging capabilities
  • Deliverables
    • Written Report
      • Assessment findings and recommendations will be compiled into a formal report
    • Presentation to defined site leaders.
    • Facilitation multi-disciplinary team review of findings and recommendations
      • Topics to include:
        • Assessment findings and recommendations
        • Published best practices and guidelines
        • Input from the medical staff and clinical departments
        • Risk to patients if the alarm signal is not attended to or if it malfunctions
        • Potential for patient harm based on internal incident history

Scope of Work: Phase 2

Alarms Data Collection

Data Collection Methodology

  • Portable data collection units are installed in designated rooms, in various defined departments across the hospital.
  • Equipment/Alarm options include:
    • Ventilators
    • Portable Pulse Oximeters
    • Bipaps
    • IV pumps
    • Bed alarms
    • Chair pad alarms
    • Nurse calls
  • The Amplion team will consult with bedside monitoring vendor(s) to determine the best ways to get data from their system.
  • Statistical samples will be collected throughout the hospital over a predefined agreed upon time period.
  • Primary data collection:
    • Data collection (duration to be determined by client and Amplion)
    • Alarm frequency by device
    • Duration by device type
  • Primary Data Collection Report
    • All data, charts, analysis
    • Multidisciplinary Team Meeting (site specific)
      • Review Primary Data Collection results
      • Present recommendations based on findings to date
      • Work with site leaders:
        • revise any current policies/protocols
        • change the alarm parameter settings on devices as appropriate
  • Secondary data collection:
    • Data collection (duration to be determined by client and Amplion)
    • Alarm frequency by device
    • Duration by device type
  • Secondary Data Collection Report
    • All data, charts, analysis
    • Multidisciplinary Team Meeting
      • Review Primary Data Collection results
      • Compare of how false positive alarms might be reduced
      • Present recommendations based on secondary data collection findings
      • Work with site leaders:
        • Determine whether specific alarm signals are needed or unnecessarily contribute to alarm noise and alarm fatigue
        • Identify what devices represent the greatest percentage of alarms and how can those device parameter settings be modified to reduce the false positives
        • Revise any current policies/protocols
        • Change the alarm parameter settings on devices as appropriate

Scope of Work: Phase 3

Alarms Management Plan

  • We will outline for you specific options available to manage staff response to alarms
  • We will work with you to produce your plan for Alarms management going forward

The total cost of the program will be based on the cost of the use of portable alarm monitoring devices and Amplion consultant hours required.

2 Alarm Publications Review

Amplion is pleased to offer the hospital alarm management community a place to see the new publications that have been published within the last two weeks and give everyone within the community the chance to quickly review each publication via our Amplion eNewsletter.

Our eNewsletter will only include a list of the new articles with links to the articles or references to those in subscription journals. That will happen every two weeks. Interested in signing up to receive the eNewsletter? Sign up now.

3 Hospital Alarms Resources

We’ve grouped key Industry Resources to help you find additional information on critical topics and business areas. Please let us know what else we should include on the list below…

Industry Resource Links