Could Alarm Fatigue Cause Medical Malpractice Risks?

Posted on: March 12, 2015 by Javier iSure

Last year, a national survey of 20 hospitals revealed that alarm fatigue was ranked as a top patient safety concern. What is alarm fatigue? This is the process of being constantly exposed to different alarms and alerts, as those in the healthcare industry regularly are, and eventually becoming desensitized to this constant disruption. As a result, doctors may have longer response times or miss important alarms. This of course increases the risk of patient error, and thus increases the need for Malpractice Insurance Aventura FL for healthcare facilities.

Although the above mentioned survey took place last year, alarm fatigue still remains a common issue today. A recent article publishes in JDSupra Business Advisor reports that hospital workers in large facilities are exposed to, on average, 350 alarms per bed each day. In an average sized hospital, this means that workers face thousands of alarms each day. The article suggests that false alarms don’t help; in fact they may be making the problem worse.

It’s estimated that 86%-99% of the alarms doctors are exposed to are for non-emergency needs, or false alarms all together. Given this high number, it’s only natural that workers have become desensitized, and either ignore or tune out alarms. Some healthcare professionals even turn them off all together. What can be done about this growing issue?

New requirements have been implemented by the Joint Commission, which is an independent, non-profit organization responsible for certifying health care organizations nationwide. The commission has created a new National Patient Safety Goal to combat the problem, and increase accountability among the nation’s hospitals. The agreement requires that all accredited hospitals improve their response systems for monitoring alarms.

It’s important to note that even while making the appropriate precautions, risks do exist. At iSure, we understand the unique exposures faced by those in the healthcare industry, and offer comprehensive Aventura FL Malpractice Programs as a result. For more information, please contact us today at (855) 381-6123.

Posted in: Aventura Medical Malpractice Insurance