Joint Commission enters Phase 2 of clinical alarm management goal Jan. 1
Phase 2 of the Joint Commission's National Patient Safety Goal 06.01.01 begins Jan. 1. In this phase, hospitals and critical access hospitals need to establish and implement polices and procedures for managing clinical alarms.

To meet elements of performance, hospitals will be expected to develop and implement specific components of policies and procedures that at a minimum address:

  • Clinically appropriate settings
  • When alarms can be disabled
  • When parameters can be changed
  • Who can set and change parameters and who can set to "off"
  • Monitoring and response expectations
  • Checking individual alarm signals for accurate settings, proper operation and detectability

Under Phase 2, hospitals also are expected to educate those in the organization who will be responsible for alarm system management on new policies and procedures.

According to data from the Joint Commission, roughly 85 to 99 percent of medical equipment alarms that ring in hospitals do not require clinical intervention and are often sounding off because of improper equipment settings or other equipment-related issues. This can lead to alarm fatigue among clinical staff and put patient safety at risk. 

Also this week:

APIC highlights strategies to reduce loss of lives during active-shooter situations
Tonya Wagner, R.N., highlights strategies for health care facilities to reduce the loss of lives in active-shooter situations in a recent issue of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology's (APIC) Prevention Strategist. Wagner, APIC's Emergency Preparedness Committee vice chair, stresses the importance of enacting an active-shooter policy, holding drills with all staff, and involving local law enforcement and emergency personnel in plans and communication.

FDA issues updated guidance on regulatory requirements for health care gowns
The Food and Drug Administration has issued updated guidance on the regulatory requirements for gowns used in health care settings. The guidance is intended to help clarify the characteristics of gowns considered to be Class II devices and therefore subject to premarket scrutiny.

HHS funds development of high-speed manufacturing for N95 respirators
Health & Human Services' Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) will support the development of a high-speed manufacturing line to produce N95 respirators, which is used to prevent the transmission of microorganisms through airborne particles. The development of this line will take place under a 14-month, $1.6 million contract between ASPR and Halyard Health.