Hospital’s program reduces nuisance alarms 30 percent

Nurses at Palomar Health in California were part of a study designed to reduce alarm fatigue. The results of that study were reviewed in a recent webinar from the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation. After all-day training sessions conducted with 1,200 nurses, the health system decreased its alarms by nearly 30 percent, from 10,570 total infusion alarms to 7,564 during the course of a year.  

The training sessions included back-to-basics teachings to help nurses understand why nuisance alarms occur, and how to prevent them. The education focused on IV site placement and pressure sensors, among other topics, to help reduce patient-side occlusion alarms. The nurses also received instruction on line priming and how to use an anti-siphon valve when administering highly gaseous medications.

 “When nurses understand why alarms are occurring, they can react and resolve them more quickly, and they can alleviate patient anxiety when they do occur,” says Diana Schultz, Palomar’s manager of medication safety. “All of this has led to increased patient safety and reduced the risk of nuisance alarms at Palomar Health.”

ASHRM releases health care workplace violence risk assessment tool

The American Society for Healthcare Risk Management (ASHRM) has created a series of toolkits to help health care facilities assess workplace violence risks. The toolkits include a checklist to ensure that risk managers are prepared to prevent violence against staff and a separate tool to address violence if it happens. For each item, ASHRM has shared such resources as formal policy examples and best practices.

The toolkit addresses five areas:

  • Staff-to-staff violence/harassment
  • Physician- or third-party professional-to-staff violence/harassment
  • Patient-to-staff violence
  • Visitor/family-to-staff violence
  • Stranger/nonemployee-to-staff violence

Joint Commission launches compounding facility certification

The Joint commission has developed a new Medication Compounding Certification program in line with the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention’s General Chapters 797 and 795. The certification focuses on three areas:

  • Environment: airflow, buffer areas, guidelines for cleaning and documentation, and storage
  • People: training, competency, proper use of personal protective equipment and aseptic technique
  • Product: sterility of base products, expiration dates and labeling

Johns Hopkins researches strategies to measure, improve patient-room cleaning

A team of Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers have embarked on a three-year study to apply human factors engineering to patient-room cleaning.

The researchers, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Prevention Epicenter Program, will study the work systems, tools and technologies environmental service departments use in cleaning and disinfecting patient care areas.

The aim of the study is to develop concrete strategies to measure and improve patient-room cleaning and disinfection processes.