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Multifaceted initiative to reduce "alarm fatigue" on cardiac unit reduces alarms and increases nurse and patient satisfaction.

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; AHRQ.

Clinical alarms have been described as a serious patient safety issue. This article relates how one hospital implemented a series of actions reduce nuisance alarms in a cardiac unit and reports a substantial decrease in audible alerts with no subsequent adverse effects. Interventions included expanding limits for triggering heart rate alarms and collaboration between two nurses to design customized alarm parameters for individual patients.