Stethoscope

 Mar 22, 2017

Bed and Chair Alarms – Without Fatigue

Alarm Fatigue is a challenge for all facilities. In today ‘s technologically-aware society, every facility wants to be as advanced as possible and take advantage of technology so they can “do more with less,” while still providing the best care possible. There are challenges with the new technology however, so here are 5 Strategies to help combat this technological challenge:
  1. Reduce Alarm Usage When Possible – Not every patient requires a bed or chair alarm. An alarm generally creates a sense of urgency when it is active and we should be careful not to burden staff unnecessarily. How do we determine when a patient should be using a bed or chair alarm? A well-crafted Fall Risk Assessment Tool. If your facility needs one or would like to view an alternative, simply contact us at Lange Medical and one will be provided at no charge.
  2. Silent Alarm Options – Almost all facilities have reliable Nurse Call Systems today, which create more options for your staff. The audible alarm is the main culprit when we discuss alarm fatigue. The frequent beeping can annoy staff and patients alike, so anytime we can reduce or eliminate that noise we can reduce alarm fatigue. Find bed and chair alarms that can be turned down or off so that staff will be notified of an egress alarm on their phone or pager without the audible alarm.
  3. Delay Settings – Look for units that allow the staff to control the alarm reaction time when necessary. Sometimes patients can be very fidgety and cause frequent nuissance alarms even when they do not leave the bed or chair. An alarm that allows the staff to adjust the system’s reaction time by a second or two could drastically cut-down on the number of alarms during the day reducing fatigue.
  4. Go Wireless – When a facility chooses a wireless chair alarm, they can now easily integrate their chair alarm into the nurse call system, while allowing the patient maximum mobility. They will no longer be limited by the length of the connecting cord, so the patient has the ability to be “untethered” while still being safely monitored by the nurse call system. This is a tremendous advantage and will lead to more flexibility for the staff and fewer missed alarms. It also reduces the risk of tripping from excessive cords in the room.
  5. Analytics – A lot can be learned from reviewing your facility’s past history with alarms. Are there times when these alarms occur more frequently than others? For example, if you notice that 50% of your alarms occur between 7-8 am or 1-2 pm perhaps adjustments can be made to help avoid bed or chair egress situations. You may also notice that certain units within your facility experience more frequent alarms than others. If so, there may be changes that can be made to help that situation as well. Knowledge is power so using that knowledge to your advantage will keep patients as safe as possible, while reducing fatigue for your staff.
These are 5 ways in which you can help reduce Alarm Fatigue within your facility. If you are interested in learning more about our Fall Management Products, or if you have other ideas that you would like to share, please contact us at Lange Medical and we will be in contact with you within 24 hours. Thank you
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