As many as 99% of alarm signals may not need any intervention and can result in patients’ deaths. Alarm management is now a Joint Commission National Patient Safety Goal.
To reduce the number of nuisance electrocardiographic alarm signals in adult patients on the medical cardiovascular care unit.
A quality improvement process was used that included eliminating duplicative alarms, customizing alarms, changing electrocardiography electrodes daily, standardizing skin preparation, and using disposable electrocardiography leads.
In the cardiovascular care unit, the mean number of electrocardiographic alarm signals per day decreased from 28.5 (baseline) to 3.29, an 88.5% reduction.
Use of a bundled approach to managing alarm signals decreased the mean number of alarm signals in a cardiovascular care unit. (Critical Care Nurse. 2015;35:15–23)