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Keywords

Alarm fatigue, Intensive care unit, Nurse-driven monitoring bundle, Nurse perception, Patient-customized monitoring bundle, Patient safety

 

Authors

  1. Lewis, Carmencita Lorenzo BSN, RN, CCRN
  2. Oster, Cynthia A. PhD, RN, APRN, MBA, ACNS-BC, ANP, FAAN

Abstract

Introduction: The research literature is replete with evidence that alarm fatigue is a real phenomenon in the clinical practice environment and can lead to desensitization of the need to respond among nursing staff. A few studies attest to the effectiveness of incorporating parts of the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses recommended nursing practices for alarm management. No studies could be found measuring the effectiveness of the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses recommendations in their entirety or the effectiveness of a nursing-driven, evidence-based, patient-customized monitoring bundle.

 

Purpose/Research Question: The purpose of this study was to describe the effect of implementing CEASE, a nurse-driven, evidence-based, patient-customized monitoring bundle on alarm fatigue. CEASE is an acronym for Communication, Electrodes (daily changes), Appropriateness (evaluation), Setup alarm parameters (patient customization), and Education (ongoing). Research questions: (1) In a 36-bed intensive care unit/step-down unit (ICU/SDU) with continuous hemodynamic and respiratory monitoring, does application of an evidence-based, patient-customized monitoring bundle compared with existing monitoring practice lead to less alarm fatigue as measured by the number of hemodynamic and respiratory monitoring alarms? (2) In a 36-bed ICU/SDU with continuous hemodynamic and respiratory monitoring, does application of an evidence-based, patient-customized monitoring bundle compared with existing monitoring practice lead to less alarm fatigue as measured by duration of alarms? and (3) In a 36-bed ICU/SDU with continuous hemodynamic and respiratory monitoring, does application of an evidence-based, patient-customized monitoring bundle compared with existing monitoring practice lead to less alarm fatigue as measured by nurse perception?

 

Methods: This was an institutional review board approved exploratory, nonrandomized, pretest and posttest, 1-group, quasi-experimental study, without-comparators design describing difference in pretest and posttest measures following CEASE Bundle implementation. The study was conducted over a 6-month period. Convenience sample of 74 registered nurses staffing a 36-bed ICU/SDU using the CEASE Bundle participated. Preimplementation/postimplementation number of alarms and alarm duration time for a 30-day period were downloaded from the monitoring system and compared. Nurses completed an electronic 36-item Clinical Alarms Survey provided by the Healthcare Technology Foundation: 35 before implementation and 18 after implementation. Researchers measured CEASE alarm bundle adherence. [chi]2 and t-tests determined statistical significance.

 

Results: Total number of monitoring alarms decreased 31% from 52 880 to 36 780 after CEASE Bundle implementation. Low-priority Level 1 alarms duration time significantly decreased 23 seconds (t = 1.994, P = .045). Level 2 duration time did not change. High-priority Level 3 alarms duration time significantly increased to 246 seconds (t = 4.432, P < .0001). CEASE alarm bundle adherence significantly improved to 22.4% ([chi]2 = 5.068, P = .0244). Nurses perceived a significant decrease in nuisance alarm occurrence (68% to 44%) postimplementation ([chi]2 = 3.243, P = .0417). No adverse patient events occurred.

 

Conclusions: Decreased total number of monitoring alarms improved nurse perception of alarm fatigue. Continued monitoring of CEASE Bundle adherence by nursing staff is required. Longer high-priority Level 3 alarms duration suggests need for further research.