AAMI Comments on Joint Commission's Proposed Alarm Management Patient Safety Goal

The Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation Foundation's Healthcare Technology Safety Institute has sent comments to The Joint Commission on its proposal of making alarm management a National Patient Safety Goal for critical access hospitals and hospital accreditation programs.

HTSI supports making alarm safety a priority, but also suggested several changes to The Joint Commission's proposal. First, HTSI said the safety goal should use vocabulary consistent with international standards for medical devices; instead of saying "alarm problems," The Joint Commission should specify whether the problem is alarm signals, alarm conditions, alarm settings or alarm settings, according to HTSI. HTSI assumed The Joint Commission was referring to audible alarm sounds in its NPSG. Here are some other suggestions from HTSI:

•    Institutions should maintain an alarm systems committee that would report to a patient safety executive, who would provide guidance for alarm system management.
•    The alarm systems committee should oversee a database of all equipment with patient-related clinical alarm sounds and assign priority status for managing the alarm sounds.
•    The alarm systems committee should create and maintain guidance for the management of and response times for alarm signals deemed critical to the patient's life.
•    Healthcare facilities should assess the number of audible alarm signals "per patient per bed per day" from "inactionable condition" instead of "the number of audible alarm signals that are attributable to false positive alarm conditions."
•    Healthcare facilities should document annual staff education on alarm management policies and procedures.

More Articles on Alarm Management:

Joint Commission Proposes Alarm Management National Patient Safety Goal
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