How can we track when bed alarms are activated??

  1. I ask this because the other night my 91 year old man fell and broke a hip at shift change. I had gotten there at 8, got report, looked up info that was necessary, and headed to pull meds before 8. I pulled one persons and got a call that my patient fell at exactly 8. The tech was making rounds when another patient came to her and said they heard him fall. She goes in there and the bed alarm is off.
    We have problems with certain techs turning them off so they don't have to deal with it, but it wasn't that tech. She hadn't been in there and i hadn't heard it go off since I got there. My boss said it was going off all day. So you can believe she was pissed.
    I agree it's unexcusable, but I don't think it's right for me to be fired when I wasn't the one who turned it off. Next time it happens they are threatening to fire the nurse. I admitted that patient and immediately put on all fall precautions. The only thing that wasn't done is move him closer to the nurses station, but there were no beds.
    Anyways, I am just trying to figure out a way to track when alarms are activated and inactivated and by who. We have tap and go's on our med carts and the pixis...why not have them there? The only problem is hospitals are spending money on ridiculous things and can't afford to buy things that would help keep patients safe...just like they won't pay for sitters.

    Im just wondering if any other hospitals have come up with a better system.
    Have any of you ever seen some kind of tracking system for these things ?
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    About Birdy2

    Joined: Nov '14; Posts: 125; Likes: 109

    5 Comments

  3. by   Pangea Reunited
    It's a good idea to round immediately at the start of a shift and make sure all bed alarms are on. That being said, someone can come in right behind you and turn it off. And even if the alarm is on and functioning, that doesn't mean the patient won't fall.
  4. by   nutella
    Quote from Birdy2
    I ask this because the other night my 91 year old man fell and broke a hip at shift change. I had gotten there at 8, got report, looked up info that was necessary, and headed to pull meds before 8. I pulled one persons and got a call that my patient fell at exactly 8. The tech was making rounds when another patient came to her and said they heard him fall. She goes in there and the bed alarm is off.
    We have problems with certain techs turning them off so they don't have to deal with it, but it wasn't that tech. She hadn't been in there and i hadn't heard it go off since I got there. My boss said it was going off all day. So you can believe she was pissed.
    I agree it's unexcusable, but I don't think it's right for me to be fired when I wasn't the one who turned it off. Next time it happens they are threatening to fire the nurse. I admitted that patient and immediately put on all fall precautions. The only thing that wasn't done is move him closer to the nurses station, but there were no beds.
    Anyways, I am just trying to figure out a way to track when alarms are activated and inactivated and by who. We have tap and go's on our med carts and the pixis...why not have them there? The only problem is hospitals are spending money on ridiculous things and can't afford to buy things that would help keep patients safe...just like they won't pay for sitters.

    Im just wondering if any other hospitals have come up with a better system.
    Have any of you ever seen some kind of tracking system for these things ?
    When you do the first round or bedside report, it is your responsibility to check on bed alarms, like you would also check on all iv pumps and such to make sure they are running as ordered ...

    I am not a bedside nurse but see pat in their rooms - I switch on bed alarms all the time ..
  5. by   LeChien
    I agree with the above statements^^ all alarms are ultimately your responsibility and if the techs turn them off as you say...then that needs to be addressed to a manager, for YOUR license's sake!
  6. by   Birdy2
    I informed my boss that nobody on our shift had even been in that room, but she said I was still the blame for it. She said she knew it wasn't right, but that's just how it is.

    Also, when I first started this job a year or so ago i made the goal to see patients after report then pull meds, but after the first few nights of people needing meds as soon as I get there and calling nonstop until I get there with them, it became a time issue. If I don't pull meds when I get there and see my patients first I may not pull meds until 9 and they're due at 9. Yes, we have an hour before/after meds are due to give them, but when you have 6 patients that takes a while. Especially when they all need a million things.

    So anways, I'm gonna attempt to see patients first and also make a note of every time anyone goes in my patients rooms and what they did for the patient while they're in there. We'll see how this goes. Lord knows i don't even have time to chart my assessments most nights, but I'm gonna try.
  7. by   ButtaflyRN
    Does your facility require bedside report? Mine does and part of report for me is walking in an checking to make sure the bed alarm is on. I know people hate bedside report but we've been doing it so long at my facility that I feel like I miss out of things if I dont do it. My facility also has a computer program that connects our beds to it and that system sends out text messages to our microcells, techs get the first text, then RNs if it isnt addressed.

    Fired for it though? That's a little extreme, unless there are underlying issues that shouldnt be something an RN should get fired for.

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