Clinical Alarms Management and Integration
The Healthcare Technology Foundation's 2011 survey on alarm utilization (2011 National Clinical Alarms Survey) resulted in 4278 responders 93% clinical staff voicing their perceptions, issues, suggested improvements and priorities about this highly visible, complex patient safety concern. The overall results and recommendations of the survey were distributed to the 298 attendees at the AAMI Medical Device Alarms Summit where the Healthcare Technology Foundation was a supporting organization. Additional publications are in preparation.

This effort was a continuation of the 2004 HTF initiative to improve the use of clinical alarms in healthcare. The initial milestone was the completion of a 2007 white paper ￿ Impact of Clinical Alarms on Patient Safety. This paper reviewed the literature related to the effective use of clinical alarm and analyzed adverse event databases. Efforts to improve alarms through technological, standards, and regulatory means were also assessed and evaluated. Forums, meetings and a survey of 1,327 clinicians, engineers, technical staff and managers provided considerable feedback regarding alarm issues.

Clinical alarms continue to receive significant attention from manufacturers, users, accreditation agencies and regulators in order to help assure the effective design and use of clinical alarms.

The resources below include HTF publications along with those of our board members and other material of interest.


PDF Document  December 2013 VHA Patient Safety Assessment Tool (PSAT)

HTML Page  December 2013 NTI ActionPak:Strategies for Managing Alarm Fatigue

Healthcare Technology Foundation Publications

PDF Document  2016 A Guide to Understanding Clinical Alarms (English) (347 Kb)

Word Document  2016 A Guide to Understanding Clinical Alarms (Spanish) (350 Kb)

HTML Page  2013 R3 Report Issue 5 - Alarm system safety

PDF Document  2012 AAMI Clinical Alarm Survey Summary Presentation (2.2Mb)

HTML Page  2011 Alarms Survey Results

PDF Document  2011 National Clinical Alarms Survey (2.7Mb)

Board Member Publications

PDF Document  2014 Attitudes and Practices Related to Clinical Alarms by Marjorie Funk, RN, PhD, J. Tobey Clark, MSEE, CCE, Thomas J. Bauld, PhD,CCE, Jennifer C. Ott, MSBME, CCE, and Paul Coss, RN (109Kb)

HTML Page  2013 Alarm Systems Management by The Healthcare Technology Roundtable

PDF Document  2013 A Work Plan for The Joint Commission Alarm National Patient Safety Goal by William A. Hyman, ScD (351Kb)

PDF Document  2012 Responsibilities of Industry and Setting Standards by Tobey Clark, MS CCE FACCE (2.3Mb)

PDF Document  2012 CVS.411 Cardiac Monitoring & Alarm Fatigue-Toward a Posible Solution: Are We Over-monitoring by Marge Funk, PhD, RN, FAHA, FAAN (838Kb)

PDF Document  2012 Why Clinical Alarms are a "TOP TEN" Hazard by James P. Keller, Jr., M.S. (1.2Mb)

PDF Document  2012 NPSF Clinical Alarm Fatigue Webcast Slides (2.2Mb)

HTML Page  2012 AAMI: Alarm management survey shows little progress in last six years, June

PDF Document  2012 National Clinical Alarms Surveys ￿ 5 years Comparison of Issues, Improvements and Priorities, WC2012/IFMBE Proceedings Paper, May (294 Kb)

PDF Document  2012 Alarm Fatigue, Cuidado, January (133 Kb)

PDF Document  2008 Fault Tree Analysis of Clinical Alarms, Journal of Clinical Engineering, April/June (441 Kb)

PDF Document  2008 Alarms and Nurse to Patient Ratios, American Journal of Critical Care, March (58 Kb)

HTML Page  2008 National Online Survey on the Effectiveness of Clinical Alarms, American Journal of Critical Care, January

Clinical Alarm Improvement Resources

PDF Document  2014 Development of a Clinical Alarm Pollicy - Antonio Malito (279 Kb)

HTML Page  2014 ECRI Institute shares Alarm Safety Resource Site

HTML Page  2013 AAMI Hot Topics Alarm Systems

HTML Page  2012 AAMI Foundation Healthcare Technology Safety Institute ￿ Clinical Alarms

HTML Page   Alarm Safety Resource Site, ECRI Institute

HTML Page  2011 Alarming Monitor Problems, January, US FDA

HTML Page  2011 Alarming Monitor Problems, Video-January, US FDA

Articles on Clinical Alarms

HTML Page  2014 2014 OR Today - Alarm Fatigue: Experts share solutions that prevent sentinel events

HTML Page  2013 Respiratory Therapists' Response to a National Clinical Alarm Survey

HTML Page  2013 Philips Healthcare Interviews HTF President on Alarm Fatigue (Trace Journal September 2013 Issue)

HTML Page  2013 ECRI Institute Top Health Technology Hazard ￿ Alarms

HTML Page  2013 Hospitals Mobilize to Tackle Alarm Fatigue

HTML Page  2012 AAMI Foundation's HTSI Releases First "Safety Innovations" Paper

HTML Page  2012 Alarm Fatigue Hazards: The Sirens Are Calling, May/June

PDF Document  2012 What's That Sound I Hear?, AARC (link to AARC Website) (831 Kb)

HTML Page  2012 Did You Hear an Alarm?, Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine, March

PDF Document  2011 JAMA Tele-ICU article, JAMA, June (214 Kb) (subscription required)

PDF Document  2011 The Need for Systems Integration In Health Care, JAMA, March (46 Kb) (subscription required)

HTML Page  2011 Reducing Alarm Hazards, Patient Safety & Quality Healthcare

HTML Page  2010 Auditory Assistance-Strategies to reduce hospital noise problems

PDF Document  2008 Fixing an Alarming Situation, Health Data Management (362 Kb)


PDF Document  2007 National Patient Safety Foundation Clinical Alarms Poster (144 Kb)

PDF Document  2007 National Patient Safety Foundation Clinical Alarms Poster Abstract (32 Kb)

PowerPoint Presentation  2006 Clinical Alarms White Paper PDF (4.6Mb)

PDF Document  2007 Impact of Clinical Alarms on Patient Safety, Journal of Clinical Engineering, January/March (1.1 Mb)

PDF Document  2006 Impact of Clinical Alarms on Patient Safety (410 Kb)

PDF Document  2006 Alarm Call for Action ￿ What You Can Do (135 Kb)

HTML Page  2005-2006 Presentations and publications

HTML Page  2004-2007 Task force members

HTML Page  2005 Organizations Contributing to the Survey Design and/or Distribution

HTML Page  2005 Bibliography

HTML Page  2004 Development of the Initiative