The variety of alarms from all types of medical devices has increased from 6 to 40 in the last three decades, with today’s most critically ill patients experiencing as many as 45 alarms per hour. Alarm fatigue has been identified as a critical safety issue for clinical staff that can lead to potentially dangerous delays or non-response to actionable alarms, resulting in serious patient injury and death. To date, most research on medical device alarms has focused on the nonactionable alarms of physiological monitoring devices. While there have been some reports in the literature related to drug library alerts during the infusion pump programming sequence, research related to the types and frequencies of actionable infusion pump alarms remains largely unexplored.
The objectives of this study protocol is to establish baseline data related to the types and frequency of infusion pump alarms from the B. Braun Outlook 400ES Safety Infusion System with the accompanying DoseTrac Infusion Management Software.
This exploratory study will analyse the aggregate alarm data for each hospital by care area, drug infused, time of day, and day of week, including overall infusion pump alarm frequency (number of alarms per active infusion), duration of alarms (average, range, median), and type and frequency of alarms distributed by care area.
Infusion pump alarm data collected and analyzed in this study will be used to help establish a baseline of infusion pump alarm types and relative frequencies. Understanding the incidences and characteristics of infusion pump alarms will result in more informed quality improvement recommendations to decrease and/or modify infusion