Alarm Fatigue

3 Questions to Ask About Post-Operative Care

by Mario Cattabiani (Director of Communications at Ross Feller Casey, LLP in Philadelphia)

Surgery can be a scary thing for any patient. Whether it is a minor procedure or life-saving necessity, all types of surgical procedures come with some degree of risk. To help ease your fears, it is a natural reaction to want to learn about everything that is going to happen during the procedure. You probably want to find out exactly what you need to do beforehand, what type of procedure is planned, who will be performing it, what the recovery will be like and when will you be able to go home. While all of these concerns and questions are completely valid, an important aspect of the process is left out.

Did you know that the first few hours after a surgical procedure are often just as risky as the actual operation? Just because you make it out of the operating room does not necessarily mean that you are in the clear just yet. While that can be a terrifying thought to come to grips with, it is the reality. Read More

Alarm Fatigue

Is Your Hospital Compliant with Joint Commission Requirements?

Will your hospital be compliant with The Joint Commission’s National Patient Safety Goal? In issuing this Goal, The Joint Commission stated:

In Phase II (beginning January 2016), hospitals will be expected to develop and implement specific components of policies and procedures. Education of those in the organization about alarm system management will also be required in January 2016.

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Alarm Fatigue, Patient Safety

How One Healthcare System Used Two Interventions to Tackle Alarm Fatigue

By Sean Power
November 11, 2015

How many telemetry alarms are generated in a single month by two hospitals, 716 beds, 36,386 admissions, 93,634 visits to the emergency department, 3,418 births, 453 open-heart surgeries, and 11,688 surgical procedures?

Over a quarter million, according to Kevin Smith, BSN, RN, CNML, CVRN-BC, Director II Cardiac Telemetry Services at NCH Healthcare System in Naples, Florida, in a presentation shared at the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation Foundation’s (AAMI) Patient Safety Seminar.
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Alarm Fatigue, Respiratory Compromise

The Risk of Opioids in Post-Surgical Settings

This is the fourth article in a series exploring the impact of pulse oximetry alarm thresholds in hospitalized patients.

By J. Paul Curry, MD (anesthesiologist)

In the first article, “Improving the Safety of Post-Surgical Care,” I introduced the concept that, although the current approach to physiologic threshold monitoring (triggering an alarm when oxygen saturation falls below 90%) works well in the OR, it is unreliable on post-surgical floors. Read More

Respiratory Compromise

Detecting Deadly Post-Surgical Respiratory Dysfunction

It is crucial to understand this type of respiratory dysfunction so that it can be detected and the patient is treated as early as possible in order to save lives.

By J. Paul Curry, MD (anesthesiologist)

This is the third article in a series exploring the impact of pulse oximetry alarm thresholds in hospitalized patients. In the first article, Improving the Safety of Post-Surgical Care,” I introduced the concept that, although the current approach to physiologic threshold monitoring (triggering an alarm when oxygen saturation falls below 90%) works well in the OR, it is unreliable on post-surgical floors. Read More

Alarm Fatigue, Respiratory Compromise

Pulse Oximetry False Alarms on Post-Surgical Floors

Adjusting pulse oximetry alarm thresholds to avoid false alarms and universally monitoring all triggered alarms improves patient safety—so why don’t we do it?

By J. Paul Curry, MD (anesthesiologist)

This is the second article in a series exploring the impact of pulse oximetry alarm thresholds in hospitalized patients. In the first article, “Improving the Safety of Post-Surgical Care,” I introduced the concept that, although the current approach to physiologic threshold monitoring (triggering an alarm when oxygen saturation falls below 90%) works great in the OR, it is unreliable on post-surgical floors. Read More

Alarm Fatigue, Respiratory Compromise

Better Alarm Management Improves Patient Safety and Clinician Workflow

Managing alarms on physiologic monitors, like pulse oximeters that measure blood oxygenation and capnography that assesses the adequacy of ventilation, is a critical patient safety issue. As the first comprehensive national survey of patient-controlled analgesia practices by the Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety found, 90 percent of hospitals believe that reducing false alarms would increase use of patient monitoring devices. Read More

Blood Clots, Must Reads, Opioid Safety, Respiratory Compromise

Weekly Must Reads in Patient Safety (Oct 31, 2014)

Good news and bad news.

Yes, there have been other things going on in healthcare other than Ebola-mania … thanks @sacbee_news for this illustration putting Ebola in perspective:

ebola comic

The Good News

First, we’ll start with the good news, because most people love a celebration. Read More