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July 10, 2014
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Alarm fatigue and patient safety:
ANA SmartBrief special report, Part I
Addressing alarm safety is a National Patient Safety Goal of the Joint Commission. This ANA SmartBrief special report is designed to bring you news about alarm management as well as other patient safety-related issues. Learn more from the Joint Commission's report on alarm safety and this discussion of reducing alarm fatigue. Part II will be published on Aug. 14.
Alarm Fatigue 
  • AHRQ spotlights efforts to reduce alarm fatigue
    Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and Boston Medical Center reported on their efforts to reduce alarm fatigue in two articles at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's Health Care Innovations Exchange. Dartmouth-Hitchcock had fewer ICU transfers and rescue events. Boston Medical reported an 89% reduction in audible alarms in its cardiac unit and high levels of satisfaction with the program from both nurses and patients. FierceHealthIT (6/30) Email this Story
Patient Safety 
  • AHRQ survey examines practice patient safety culture
    An Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality survey looking at aspects of patient safety in medical practices revealed 86% of medical office employees see teamwork and patient care tracking and follow-up as strengths in their practice. However, participants indicated work pressure and pace is an area that needs further improvement. (6/24)
  • Patient safety fines are more likely at large, teaching hospitals
    Teaching hospitals and large hospitals are more likely to be fined for patient safety violations, according to an analysis by a researcher at Harvard School of Public Health. The differences may have more to do with differing patient populations and levels of scrutiny than care quality, according to the lead researcher. The study was reported in the American Journal of Medical Quality. EHR Intelligence (6/26)
  • CDC videos focus on safe injection practices
    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Safe Injection Practices Coalition have released two videos on safe injection practices for providers and facility managers. The videos, titled "Check Your Steps! Make Every Injection Safe" and "Managing Patient Safety, One Injection at a Time," are available on the CDC's One and Only Campaign YouTube channel. (6/25)
The Ultimate Educational Series on Clinical Alarm Management
If your hospital's alarm conditions are giving you high blood pressure, this webinar series is for you. Each webinar offers guidance to help strengthen your alarm safety strategy. Learn from industry experts how to develop sustainable alarm management policies to reduce alarm fatigue and protect patients from safety risks. Click here to register.
Trends and Technology 
  • FDA to monitor drug safety using electronic health data
    Electronic health data is being used by the FDA's Mini-Sentinel pilot program to detect safety concerns involving drugs and medical devices. "Thanks to the ability to access data from various sources, the Mini-Sentinel system can use the information from potentially more than 150 million covered lives in our nation's health care system to help answer important drug safety questions," Center for Drug Evaluation and Research Director Dr. Janet Woodcock wrote in a blog post. Health Data Management (6/24)
  • FDA should share safety info on social media, researchers say
    Researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School recommended that the FDA do more to enhance its efforts to use social media to disseminate drug safety information. Recommendations included providing better links to the Drugs@FDA and MedWatch sites, as well as incorporating Facebook and Twitter access into the FDA website. Researchers also suggested that the FDA keep up-to-date health-related information on Wikipedia. Medical Marketing & Media (6/30)
  • Safety concerns persist after EHR "go live" date
    EHR patient safety issues continue long after the EHRs "go live," and those concerns center predominantly on data transmission, software upgrades and the way information is displayed in the EHR, research indicated. The findings suggest that groups with either long-standing or recent EHR adoption should establish "a robust infrastructure to monitor and learn from them," the authors wrote in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association. (6/20)
  • ASM Research to upgrade VA's VistA system
    A three-year contract has been awarded by the Department of Veterans Affairs to ASM Research to upgrade its Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture or VistA. Under the deal, ASM will modernize VistA's patient file access system as well as enhance its interoperability with the other platforms used in facilities where veterans receive care to boost health care outcomes and patient safety. EHR Intelligence (7/3)
ANA Resources 
  • Medical alarm safety in hospitals
    Patients and their families often say they can't wait to get home so they can finally get some rest -- in part because of all the beeps and buzzes coming from IV machines, cardiac monitors and other medical equipment. That cacophony of sounds also can have a negative effect on nurses and other health care professionals -- a phenomenon known as "alarm fatigue" caused by sensory overload. Read more at The American Nurse.

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