Joint Commission and FDA target alarm fatigue

Accreditation Connection, April 22, 2011

The Joint Commission recently told The Boston Globe that it would work with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to make alarm fatigue a priority.

Alarm fatigue is a concern for many, and it’s no wonder as to why. Our colleagues at the Patient Safety Monitor Journal wrote about the dangers in their March 2011 issue in which Kathryn Pelczarski, director of the applied solutions group at the ECRI Institute, said that a nurse for an ICU might be dealing with 150-400 physiologic alarms per patient per day. A nurse in those units typically has one or two patients, but that doesn’t mean they don’t hear the alarms for all the other patients.

Nurses are hearing hundreds of alarms during their shift, some critical, some less important, with many false alarms, and patient safety is suffering as a result.

The Boston Globe article can be found here; to learn more about Patient Safety Monitor Journal, click here.

Most Popular