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DiversityNursing Blog

ECRI Panel to Reveal Best Clinical Alarm Policies for Preventing Patient Harm

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Mon, Aug 18, 2014 @ 12:57 PM


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Inappropriate configurations of clinical alarm settings are more than just a nuisance for frontline staff, according to ECRI Institute's accident investigators.

Improper changes to preconfigured alarm settings have resulted in serious patient harm or death when caregivers weren't alerted to significant changes in patient conditions. This doesn't need to persist.

Findings from these investigations have raised concerns that many healthcare organizations do not have effective policies on configuring and managing clinical alarm settings. Establishing effective policies for setting of clinical alarms and putting a system in place to effectively follow these policies is critical to patient safety.

To educate healthcare facilities about the challenges clinicians are facing when configuring physiologic monitor alarms, ECRI Institute is presenting an educational web conference, "Good Alarm Policies are No Accident," on Wednesday, Sept. 3.

The objectives of the webinar, according of ECRI, are to help participants:

  • Comprehend ways to improve alarm-setting policies for successful compliance with the Joint Commission's National Patient Safety Goal on alarm safety.
  • Realize what to expect when planning and designing patient care areas.
  • Recognize how leading healthcare organizations have improved alarm-setting processes to improve patient safety. 
  • Understand lessons learned from our accident investigations related to alarms.

The ECRI webinar is intended for risk managers, clinical staff, nursing administration, ICU staff, clinical department heads, clinical and biomedical engineers, materials managers, and other healthcare professionals. The interactive format of ECRI Institute's webinar will provide ample time to interact with the panel during the Q&A session and also encourages participation. Panelists and speakers include:

Michael Argentieri, MS, Vice President & Senior Investigator, ECRI Institute
Mark E. Bruley, CCE, Vice President, Accident and Forensic Investigation, ECRI Institute (Q&A only)
Maria Cvach, DNP, RN, Assistant Director of Nursing, Clinical Standards, The Johns Hopkins Hospital
Sue Sendelbach, PhD, RN, CCNS, FAHA, FAAN, Director of Nursing Research, Abbott Northwestern Hospital
Stacy Jepsen, APRN, CNS, CCRN, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Critical Care, Abbott Northwestern Hospital
Moderator: Jeremy Suggs, PhD, Engineering Manager, Health Devices, ECRI Institute


Topics: nursing, patients, ECRI, clinical alarm, frontline staff, system

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