Accuracy of cardiac monitoring (electrode placement, lead selection, interval assessment, and rhythm interpretation) is an important component of patient safety in hospitalized patients who meet the criteria for dysrhythmia monitoring. Quality dysrhythmia monitoring requires nurses to have high levels of knowledge and skill for accuracy and effective clinical decision-making. Gaps in practice related to dysrhythmia monitoring have been documented.1–4  Inaccurate placement of electrodes can affect the morphology (shape) of the QRS complex and result in misinterpretation of a rhythm.5,6 

Monitor patients for dysrhythmias according to the recommendations in the American Heart Association Scientific Statement: Practice Standards for Electrocardiographic Monitoring in Hospital Settings.

When replacing current bedside monitoring equipment, evaluate for the number of chest leads and for the technology related to continuous assessment of the QT interval.

Review organizational policies and protocols related to cardiac monitoring to ensure the same standard of care across...

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