The Road to Smarter Alarm Management for Hospitals in 2018 & Beyond

Alarms are meant to command your attention. They are annoying and loud by design. In a hospital, however, alarms without management can be dangerous to patients and employees. It also reduces patient and employee satisfaction.

The common strategies used by hospitals to manage alarms focus primarily or exclusively on reduction. This makes sense for several reasons:

– The majority of bedside alarms are not indicative of patient deterioration;

– Alarm fatigue in clinical staff is a documented patient safety threat; andThe Road to Smarter Alarm Management in 2018 & Beyond

– Alarm proliferation and its attendant noise is disruptive to the recovery process.

However, alarm reduction is only part of the equation. Hospitals are challenged with striking a balance between communicating essential, patient-safety specific information in addition to minimizing excess, spurious and non-emergent events. In other words, clinical alarm management should be both quantitative and qualitative.

This can be achieved first by understanding the current state of alarms within an affected unit. Then, by leveraging a solution capable of capturing and filtering high-resolution data from multiple physiologic devices—not just individual alarms—and distributing it to the right clinicians at the right time in order to facilitate the appropriate intervention.

More than quantitative reductions, modern alarm management is an essential component of real-time healthcare and clinical decision support.

 

Read the rest of my post from HIT consultant here.

Opioid Addiction Is Evidence Of Our Failure To Address Chronic Pain

This is an article I wrote that was published in Investors Business Daily. Please click through to read the whole post!

America’s worst drug epidemic shifted into high gear ten years ago when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned fatal drug overdoses in 2008 were poised to overtake the numbers of deaths caused by motor vehicle crashes.

Today, the most recent data show over 42,000 annual deaths caused by opioid abuse, which surpasses the mortality rate of car accidents by several thousand.

How is it that car crash fatalities peaked at over 51,000 in 1979 and in recent years are less than 40,000 despite more drivers? Innovations such as airbags and three-point seatbelts among other technologies engineered into modern vehicles account for life-saving improvements in automotive safety.

Yet we have relatively few visible signs of similar advances in treating pain, which is what caused this drug epidemic.

Read the rest here.