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Authors

  1. Attin, Mina PhD, RN
  2. Davidson, Judy E. DNP, RN, FCCM

Abstract

Prevention of cardiac complications including death is influenced by the availability of diagnostic tools and technological advances. Cardiac telemetry as a diagnostic tool is widely used in hospitals because of an increased severity of illness and complex modality of treatments. QTc interval abnormalities in the electrocardiogram have been long recognized as a predictive precursor for life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias and cardiac arrest. QRS morphology has also been recognized as a reliable marker to prevent cardiac events in outpatient settings. However, the QTc and QRS morphology as electrocardiogram predictors are not routinely assessed in daily practice for hospitalized patients because of the slow advancement of technology in bedside monitoring systems and inadequate staff preparation. This article discusses the role of QRS morphology and QTc interval assessment in predicting risk of complications. The article also explores the need for further research and advancement in technology to overcome barriers to integrating these predictors into routine nursing practice.