Safety Culture as a Patient Safety Practice for Alarm Fatigue
This article reviews the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) guideline on alarm fatigue, summarizing evidence for safety culture to reduce alarm fatigue and the key factors for successful adoption of the patient safety practice (PSP). The guideline, Making Health Care Safer III; Alarm Fatigue: Safety Culture, was released in 2020, updating previous guidance issued in 2013. According to the guideline, a number of studies have shown that establishing a culture of safety and implementing multifaceted interventions can have a positive impact on reducing false alarms, total alarms, and noise levels. Key elements to success include establishing an effective culture of patient safety practices in the hospital, such as TeamSTEPPs (Team Strategies and Tools to Enhance Performance and Patient Safety); engaging frontline staff and leadership and ensuring resources, establishing multidisciplinary teams, and ensuring buy-in at all levels; and conducting risk assessments of the current state of alarm management strategies. Also important are establishing metrics for improvement and working to adopt evidence-based methods supported by the literature. "Alarm management safety culture is a PSP that involves multiple interventions and requires disciplined advocacy and involvement from all hospital and unit staff," the authors conclude.
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