Understanding Alarm Fatigue

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Alarms

92% of Physiologic Alarms Are False

Studies have shown that a majority of the alarms generated by a physiologic monitors turn out to be false-positive. Traditionally, monitor techs have been in place within the units to interpret and triage alarms. More importantly, this services helps to avoid unnecessarily interruption of RNs engaged with patients. However, as hospitals have begun eliminating these invaluable team members from their units, it is naturally falling onto the RN’s shoulders, further contributing to the rise of alarm fatigue.


  • Position Change 48%
  • Toileting Assistance 11%
  • Accidental Calls 5%

64% of Nurse Call Alerts Do Not Require an RN

Why are we requiring our nurses to respond to never-ending call lights? One nursing study found that 48% of calls are for position change followed by toileting assistance (11%), and accidental calls (5%). Over the last few years, hospitals have been eliminating unit secretaries. These resources triage patient needs based on acuity and condition, freeing up RNs to focus their efforts on the clinical needs of patients. When you get rid of unit secretaries all of these tasks fall onto the RN.

You can see how RNs can get overwhelmed.

SO, WHAT CAN BE DONE?

Triage Your Nurse Calls Alerts

  • Centralizing your nurse call answering to either a unit secretary or centralized operator offers a number of benefits to both the patient and staff. The patient call is immediately answered by an operator (within seconds). The operator then speaks with the patient to determine the need and forwards the call on to the appropriate staff member.
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Consolidate Your Workflow Reporting

  • From an administrative standpoint, you can address the alarm fatigue through detailed workflow analytics. Correlating request types by category, time of day, unit/floor/hospital with staffing, fulfillment times and patient survey results pinpoints inefficiencies within deployed workflows and, ultimately, provides a mechanism to monitor continual improvements across your units.
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