Sophisticated clinical technology has become an integral part of resident and patient care with devices enabling staff to manage their care tasks more effectively.
‘Alarm fatigue’ is an unexpected downside of these efficiency gains in the aged care environment. As new devices are introduced, the number of alarms to which a healthcare professional may be exposed may be as high as 1000 alarms per shift. Many frontline staff are finding the proliferation of devices and systems is making it more difficult for them to do their job safely and efficiently.
As defined by the US Food and Drug Administration Joint Commission, ‘Alarm fatigue occurs when nurses are so bombarded by alarm signals that they become desensitised, resulting in missed alarms and delayed response times.’ Their research, carried out over a 5-year period, suggested that between 72 and 99 percent of clinical alarms were false. That not only can it interrupt clinical workflow, but the Commission also reported over 500 alarm-related patient deaths in five years.
Queensland-based supplier of nurse call systems and solutions, Electrotek understands the criticality of risk management. They provide affordable state-of-the-art monitoring and alarm devices for staff duress, care time monitoring, and employee, customer, and resident safety in the Australian environment. Electrotek design, monitor, and maintain systems and are specialists in providing appropriate solutions, for the Health and Aged Care sectors, including technical and educational solutions to ‘Alarm Fatigue’.
Electrotek leaders, Theo Kuppens and Neil Davey take pride in their consultative approach and the provision of appropriate solutions. They advise organisations in selecting only the right monitors (i.e., avoiding over monitoring) and recommend that correct, judicious selection of alarm limits, and multimodal alarms can all reduce the number of nuisance alarms to which the health care workers are exposed.
Theo explained “Alarm Fatigue’ has steadily emerged as a priority safety concern due to the continuing development of alarm systems. Addressing this problem is greatly benefitting the nursing profession. Our intelligent range of INDUNA Nurse Call System(1) and Real-Time Location System (RTLS) (1)) stand alone in the marketplace. Easy to use, install, and maintain our Australian solution engineering now has the capacity to refurbish, enhance or add value to any existing Systems.”