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HOSPITAL NOISE: Alarms annoying and may be harmful

Use of visual and auditory alarms on monitoring devices was intended initially for high-risk patients.  Today, this use has become widespread.  Some patient safety watchdog organizations, such as the Joint Commission and the ECRI Institute, have raised a flag on the potential patient safety issues related to overuse of alarms.  Ironically, some of the problems with alarms occur when staff mute or turn off the alarms.  Three suggestions for how to improve this situation in the acute care setting are given in this brief article.

Source: Chopra, V., and McMahon, L.F.  Redesigning hospital alarms for patient safety: alarmed and potentially dangerous.  JAMA, Mar. 3, 2014.  Click here for full text: http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleID=1838706&utm_source=Silverchair%20Information%20Systems&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=JAMA%3AOnlineFirst03%2F03%2F2014   Posted by AHA Resource Center (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

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