Decreasing hospital alarm fatigue by establishing a clinical alarm management policy

A holistic approach to combating alarm fatigue

 

Augusta University Health (AU Health) was looking to reduce their non-actionable alarms by 30%, decrease hospital alarm fatigue, and create a comprehensive alarm management system.

Philips clinical consultants stepped in and reviewed the alarm data and settings, interviewed stakeholders, and documented current AU Health processes.

A Clinical Alarm Management Policy was implemented and AU Health achieved strong results quickly: 32% reduction in non-actionable alarms in the first 3 months with no adverse patient outcomes identified.

AUH Logo
Working together with Philips, we designed a survey, focused on the areas of greatest opportunity, and embarked on a several month project to markedly reduce alarms in our organization. Our results have seen substantial reductions in the alarms. It’s so quiet. We look forward to continuing to move forward in our quest for a quieter work environment without jeopardizing patient safety and quality.”

-Kevin C. Dellsperger, MD, PhD

VP and Chief Medical Officer, AU Health System

Our Approach

The Philips team analyzed the alarm data and in partnership with AU Health, identified root causes of the non-actionable alarms and provided change initiatives and training recommendations.

AU Health changed their monitoring alarm default settings on several pilot units and reduced the alarm levels immediately.

Philips worked with AU Health to create an alarm strategy including education programs, an implementation plan, monitoring guidance, and on-going data analytics.
Alarm Management line graph
At AU Health, the number of alarms recorded over a two week period dropped significantly after new alarm management policy was implemented.
Data collected across departments is analyzed to help identify the root causes of non-actionable alarms.

Results*


The Philips-AU Health team developed a new Clinical Alarm Management Policy. An alarm reporting application dashboard was created to monitor results and identify future areas of concern.

AU Health quickly exceeded their alarm management goals, with 32% reduction in non-actionable alarms in the first 3 months. Over one year post changes the pilot units have continued to show health system improvements, reducing alarms in the MICU by 41.4% and alarms in the Telemetry Unit by 55.3%. AU Health received great success with no adverse patient outcomes identified.

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*Results from case studies are not predictive of results in other cases. Results in other cases may vary.