This quality improvement initiative assessed the impact of management interventions and education to reduce the number of cardiac monitor alarms on a medical progressive care unit. An evaluation of the types and frequency of monitor alarms was conducted and an interdisciplinary alarm management taskforce was formed.

A hospitalwide cardiac monitoring protocol was then developed and tested during a year-long process. Recommendations for alarm management that were implemented included nursing staff interventions to individualize alarm parameter limits and levels. Results from the initiative showed that implementation of an interdisciplinary monitor policy and education focusing on optimal cardiac monitor alarm limits and levels resulted in a 43% reduction in critical monitor alarms.

Coauthor Maria Cvach, rn, msn, ccrn, said the idea for a quality improvement project on cardiac monitor alarms was the result of patient safety concerns and risk managment issues. She cited the Joint Commission’s 2004 National Patient Safety Goal...

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