Physiologic Alarm Management
MedSun: Newsletter #65, October 2011

Pennsylvania Patient Safety Advisory

Alarm management is a critical issue for all Pennsylvania facilities. The 35 patient deaths and 102 associated potential contributing factors that were reported to the Authority illustrate a wide variety of reasons for alarm management failure and suggest focus areas for improved alarm management strategies. Basic staff interventions (i.e., education regarding physiologic alarms, clear lines of responsibility for responding to alarms, discouraging silenced alarms) can be paired with equipment management interventions (i.e., scheduled equipment testing, replacement, and battery change; alarm audibility testing; policies for alarm default limits) for maximum impact. Facilities can also monitor for alarm desensitization in both primary care staff and remote monitoring technicians.

Additional Information:

Pennsylvania Patient Safety Advisory. Physiologic Alarm Management. September 2011.
http://patientsafetyauthority.org/ADVISORIES/AdvisoryLibrary/2011/sep8(3)/Pages/105.aspx


MedSun Newsletters are available at www.fda.gov/cdrh/medsun