News Feature | August 14, 2014

ECRI Introduces Guidebook To Combat Alarm Fatigue

Katie Wike

By Katie Wike, contributing writer

ECRI Alarm Fatigue Guidebook

Providers become desensitized to constant medical device alarms, but ECRI now has a guidebook offering solutions.

Alarm fatigue refers to the desensitization of healthcare providers due to constant visual and audio alarms from technology. According to Fierce Health IT, alarm fatigue has made ECRI’s list of top ten health technology hazards for several years and was hospitals’ most cited hazard in a national survey.

In an effort to combat alarm fatigue, ECRI has introduced a guidebook for providers which intends to address this hazard and reduce alarm fatigue.

“Hospitals now have access to information that they can use to take action to minimize alarm hazards each step of the way," says James P. Keller, Jr., vice president, health technology evaluation and safety, ECRI Institute in an announcement. "We hope hospitals look to this as a blueprint for building a sound alarm management safety process."

The guidebook covers:

  • Making Alarm Management a Patient Safety Priority
  • Understanding Clinical Alarm Hazards—A Conceptual Model
  • Creating an Action Plan
  • Putting the Plan into Action
  • Identifying Best Practices

According to iHealth Beat, the guide also offers tools to reduce alarm fatigue, including: