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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