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Alarm Fatigue Design Feedback

Nurses   (778 Views | 21 Replies)
by Cags_ Cags_ (New) New

39 Profile Views; 3 Posts

Hi,

I am an undergraduate Biomedical Engineering student constructing a design alongside a group to address the issue of alarm fatigue. One of our designs involves the use of a wristband with a digital display. The display would show different colors depending on the type of warning shown and would vibrate for severe alarms. How do you think an idea like this would work and/or not work? All feedback is appreciated.

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10 Followers; 3,570 Posts; 25,941 Profile Views

Interesting idea especially given the popularity of Fitbits and Apple watches. It would have to be able to display alarms from multiple monitors and identify the location of the alarming monitor.

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3 Posts; 39 Profile Views

2 minutes ago, Wuzzie said:

Interesting idea especially given the popularity of Fitbits and Apple watches. It would have to be able to display alarms from multiple monitors and identify the location of the alarming monitor.

Thanks a lot for the feedback. Do you know if, for mid to large-sized hospitals, do nurses typically work in blocks or are they all over the hospital?

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scribblz has 13 years experience as a BSN, CNA, LPN and specializes in Med Surg, Tele, Geriatrics, home infusion.

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This is a great idea! I love the idea of a vibrating wrist band which will notify me to refer to the monitor to check my patient rather than my ascom phone going nuts beeping. This beeping disrupts so many conversations and aggravates both patients and myself.

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10 Followers; 3,570 Posts; 25,941 Profile Views

We work on specific units that are in one geographic area but the rooms may not be grouped together. You may have 2-3 patients side by side and a couple more further down the hall. Also, be aware that many of the monitors are "tele" which transmit signals from a patient box to the monitoring system so interference may be an issue.

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scribblz has 13 years experience as a BSN, CNA, LPN and specializes in Med Surg, Tele, Geriatrics, home infusion.

63 Posts; 1,663 Profile Views

3 minutes ago, Cags_ said:

Thanks a lot for the feedback. Do you know if, for mid to large-sized hospitals, do nurses typically work in blocks or are they all over the hospital?

We are generally assigned to a unit and then within that unit we have a group of assigned patients. It's important that equipment be easily programmable to the patients assigned to that RN so we don't get overwhelmed by all the alarms on the unit.

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10 Followers; 3,570 Posts; 25,941 Profile Views

2 minutes ago, scribblz said:

It's important that equipment be easily programmable to the patients assigned to that RN so we don't get overwhelmed by all the alarms on the unit.

Having it programmable is going to make or break this innovation.

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13 Followers; 4,056 Posts; 31,414 Profile Views

1) Would this be a device marketed to hospitals/health care entity? As in, if they want to use it they will keep 30, 40, 50 of them on a unit just like whatever number of staff phones they need? I wouldn't want any patient info transmitted to the personal device for which I paid hundreds for my own personal use/enjoyment.

2) I do think it'll be distracting enough that people will have to learn to disregard it at least some of the time as a matter of getting anything done and/or concentrating on other important matters.  Is there an expectation that people will be less likely to learn to ignore/disregard/tune out the flashing and buzzing on a wrist device than beeping, ringing and vibrating in a pocket device? 

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amoLucia specializes in LTC.

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Any infection control issues in your planning? Esp when garbing for Isolation Room assignments?

And the issue of having spare units avail?

I would imagine any device might be expensive so wear & tear and general loss should also be considered.

I realize that you're talking 'alarm fatigue' but any device has to be developed with multi-issue awareness, or else you will prob have defeated your intent.

You know, something like this type of device might be of interest to enhance overall alarm-awareness to nsg staff in LTC, esp if I'm on A-hall and the IV alarm is over on B-hall and my CNAs are on C-hall. That IV alarm could start to ring just minutes AFTER I leave B-hall. My staff and I are out of hearing range.

LTC staff is at bare minimum but we still have to hear our alarms.

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Been there,done that has 33 years experience as a ASN, RN.

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Colors.. vibrations..whatever. I have carried beepers.. seen flashing overhead screens.. does not matter.. if I can't see them... I  can't respond fast enough.

 You are in a no win situation. The system simply needs more nurses.

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MunoRN has 10 years experience as a RN and specializes in Critical Care.

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For monitoring only one parameter, like units that only continuous monitor pulse-ox or ETCO2, that would work.  But for most monitored units, particularly critical care, that wouldn't really work.  There are too many parameters that are being monitored and too much that needs to be viewed to appropriately deal with an alarm to work with that small of a screen.

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Undercat has 41 years experience as a BSN, MSN, CRNA and specializes in Retired.

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I think that just changing the alarm tones to be a pleasing sound would help.  My phone ring.tone is set on a soft temple bells sound that doesnt increase my heart rate or make me rush to just just make an awful sound just go away. Great idea and thank you for addressing this issue.

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