ECRI Institute launches new handbook


To boost hospitals' efforts to meet the Joint Commission’s 2014 National Patient Safety Goal on clinical alarm safety, ECRI Institute has developed a new publication.

The Alarm Safety Handbook: Strategies, Tools, and Guidance is intended as a go-to resource that hospitals can use to scrutinize and improve their alarm management practices and curtail alarm hazards to prevent patient harm.

Widespread, threatening to patients and difficult to eliminate, alarm hazards are the top danger on ECRI Institute’s 2014 Top 10 Health Technology Hazards list.

“Hospitals now have access to information that they can use to take action to minimize alarm hazards each step of the way," said James Keller, vice president, health technology evaluation and safety, ECRI Institute. "We hope hospitals look to this as a blueprint for building a sound alarm management safety process."

The handbook features 76 pages of charts, statistics, guidance, key points, and questions, along with a separate workbook of customizable tools. Topics include making alarm management a patient safety priority; understanding clinical alarm hazards; creating an action plan; putting the plan into action; and identifying best practices.

The tools in the accompanying workbook are designed to help hospitals identify safety vulnerabilities and develop alarm management strategies. Examples include a care area assessment checklist, a nursing staff survey, and an alarm review tool.


ECRI Institute, James Keller, US