Sounding the Alarm

Of great interest for a Rauland as a manufacturer of nurse call technology, the Joint Commission’s 2020 Hospital National Patient Safety Goals call for improvements to ensure that alarms are heard and addressed on time.

Alarm fatigue is an important issue to address, as the number of alarms going off over the course of an average nurse’s shift can be overwhelming. According to the Joint Commission, 85 to 90 percent of alarm signals do not require clinical intervention. Over time, staff are in danger of subconsciously tuning out some of their alarms as they try to focus on the task at hand. To combat alarm fatigue, hospitals must implement a strategy to reduce the unnecessary noise levels and help workers differentiate between the signals they experience each day.

Nurse call technology assigns different corridor light colors to each alarm type and sends notifications to the right providers to ensure a swift and appropriate response. Each corridor light color is used to categorize specific signals in the nurse call system. Once the signal has been triggered, the nurse call solution sends a notification to the appropriate person’s mobile device notifying them of the signal without increasing noise in the healing environment.

The nurses’ station also has access to the active alerts throughout the call system, accelerating response time and improving patient care. Through detailed categorization and notification of alerts, nurse call systems improve efficiency and limit exposure of providers and patients to excess alerts and alarms. This, in turn, reduces alarm fatigue and improves healthcare provider responsiveness while also preventing medical errors.