Nurses at Palomar Health in California were part of a study designed to reduce alarm fatigue. The results of that study were reviewed in a recent webinar from the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation. After all-day training sessions conducted with 1,200 nurses, the health system decreased its alarms by nearly 30 percent, from 10,570 total infusion alarms to 7,564 during the course of a year.
The training sessions included back-to-basics teachings to help nurses understand why nuisance alarms occur, and how to prevent them. The education focused on IV site placement and pressure sensors, among other topics, to help reduce patient-side occlusion alarms. The nurses also received instruction on line priming and how to use an anti-siphon valve when administering highly gaseous medications.
“When nurses understand why alarms are occurring, they can react and resolve them more quickly, and they can alleviate patient anxiety when they do occur,” says Diana Schultz, Palomar’s manager of medication safety. “All of this has led to increased patient safety and reduced the risk of nuisance alarms at Palomar Health.”
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