Alarming In Health Care

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Healthcare settings are very busy – we have to deal with multiple patients, multiple tasks and many distractions. Phones are typically ringing, family members want to speak to us, and alarms are alarming. Our thought process is interrupted and mistakes happen. For instance, take for example alert fatigue. It is a common contributor to error in healthcare. Constantly alarming monitors desensitize healthcare providers and over alarming results in the ignoring of safety measures that are designed to avoid error (Sittig, 2011). I personally observe this frequently in ICU. There is a cacophony of alarms, phone calls, and beeps. The overwhelming alarm at first soon becomes unheard or as users turn them off because they are alarming for nothing.

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