Boston Medical Center reduces alarm fatigue by recalibrating alarm limits

April 23, 2014

If you walk onto the medical-surgical units in Boston Medical Center (BMC), you may notice something strange: silence.
 
On a unit that is typically a cacophony of beeping emanating from cardiac monitors, silence is a strange occurrence. But thanks to BMC's pilot study that began in August 2012, the unit is significantly quieter, the nurses are noticeably happier, and the hospital has positioned itself as a national model for reducing alarm fatigue-a recent hot topic in the patient safety world.
 
What began as a pilot study on one unit transformed into a hospitalwide initiative that reduced alarms on all medical-surgical units from 1 million to 400,000 per week.
 
This is an excerpt from an article in the April issue of Patient Safety Monitor Journal.
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