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Alarm fatigue, Alarm limits, Competencies, ECG monitoring, Education, Electrode application, Lead selection, Monitoring capabilities, QTc, QT interval, Skin preparation, ST segment, Telemetry, Transport monitoring



  1. Zaremba, Jennifer L. MSN, RN
  2. Carroll, Karen MS, RN, CCNS, CCRN PCCN
  3. Manley, Kathleen MSN, RN, CCRN, CCNS-CSC


In 2004, practice standards for electrocardiographic (ECG) monitoring were published to address the need for an expanded use of ECG monitoring beyond heart rate and basic rhythm determination. This article reports the data collected from a survey distributed throughout the Veterans Healthcare Administration hospitals to determine the extent to which practice standards have been adopted. Survey data were used to identify the differences between actual practice and evidence-based standards. The results were divided into ECG electrode application, lead selection, alarm limits, monitoring capabilities, monitoring during patient transport, and education and competencies. The results confirm the need for improvement, including a thorough evaluation of facility practices and education. The data demonstrate the differences among actual practice and evidence-based recommendations.