Patient safety organizations and health care accreditation agencies recognize the significance of clinical alarm hazards. The Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation, a nonprofit organization focused on development and use of safe and effective medical equipment, identifies alarm management as a major issue for health care organizations. ECRI Institute, a nonprofit organization that researches approaches for improving patient safety and quality of care, identifies alarm hazards as the most significant of the “Top Ten Health Technology Hazards” for 2014. A new Joint Commission National Patient Safety Goal focusing on clinical alarm safety contains new requirements for accredited hospitals to be fully implemented by 2016. Through a fictional unfolding case study, this article reviews selected contributing factors to clinical alarm hazards present in inpatient, high-acuity settings. Understanding these factors improves contributions by nurses to clinical alarm safety practice.
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Patient Safety| August 01 2015
Understanding Clinical Alarm Safety
Carol L. Lukasewicz, RN, BSN;
Elizabeth Andersson Mattox, RN, MS, MSN, ACNPC, CPPS
Elizabeth Andersson Mattox is an adult acute care nurse practitioner and clinical program manager in the Department of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at the VA Puget Sound Health Care System in Seattle.
Corresponding author: Elizabeth Andersson Mattox, rn, ms, msn, acnpc, cpps, 344 NW 103rd St, Seattle, WA, 98177 (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
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Crit Care Nurse (2015) 35 (4): 45–57.
Carol L. Lukasewicz, Elizabeth Andersson Mattox; Understanding Clinical Alarm Safety. Crit Care Nurse 1 August 2015; 35 (4): 45–57. doi: https://doi.org/10.4037/ccn2015113
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