reply- week 6

Hospitals have noises that are buzzing day and night. Emergency Rooms, ICU’s and monitored patient floors to mention a few, have high rates of noise saturation. The most common attribution to the noise is alarms. Alarms are designed to alert staff of a change or potential change in patient status (Hebda et al., 2019). Often, the alarm going off is false or has no patient threat. This is due to parameters not being set, patches not sticking, or positioning of a sensor. This can cause alarm fatigue, “The desensitization of a clinician to an alarm stimulus that results from sensory overload causing the response of an alarm to be delayed or missed” (West et al., 2014).

The result of alarm fatigue can lead to harmful patient situations. For example, if a nurse on a busy med-surg floor has several patients on beds with alarms, patients with IV pumps infusing and on telemetry monitoring, the alarm noise from all the devices could cause the nurse to tone out some of the sounds. If one of her patient’s bed alarms continues to go off repeatedly and every time she enters the patient’s room, finds the patient in bed, she determines the sensor is set to sensitive for the patient. But if the sensor is not reset, and the alarm continues to go off, the nurse may start to ignore the alarm. The last time the alarm sounds, the patient does get out of bed and falls, injuring his hip. This can turn into a legal issue as the safety measure was in place to protect the patient from harm, but due to a failure to change the bed setting, and the nurse’s desensitization of the alarm, the patient had a poor outcome. There is an ethical responsibility for the nurse to assess the injured patient, report the fall to appropriate change according to hospital policy and discuss the incident with the patient or family members. According to Kadivar et al., (2017), that despite measures put into place in the health care setting, there are still numerous threats posed to patient safety.

Evidence suggests that alarm fatigue is a patient safety and quality concern. As health care delivery becomes more digitalized, it is increasingly important to develop a safety culture to address alarm fatigue. The research suggests establishing safe alarm management and response processes. The use of multilevel sharing practices and prevention strategies is also a way to collaborate with multidisciplinary teams on strategies for reduction in alarm fatigue (Winter et al., 2021). By decreasing the number of false alarms with use of proper management, nurses can better care for patients needs without disruptions. Thus, reduce potential missed or ignored alarms resulting in poor patient outcomes.



Kadivar, M., ManooKian, A., Asgharican., & Zarvani, A. (2017). Ethical and legal aspects of patient's safety: A clinical case report.
Journal of Medical Ethics and History of Medicine,
10, 15.


Winters, B., Slota, J., & Bilimoria, K. (2021). Safety Culture as a Patient Safety Practice for Alarm Fatigue.
Journal of the American Medical Association,
326(12), 1207-1208.

Links to an external site.


Hebda, T., Hunter, K., & Czar, P. (2018). Handbook of Informatics for Nurses & Healthcare Professionals (6th ed.). Pearson Learning Solutions.

Links to an external site.


West, P., Abbott, P., & Probst, P. (2014). Alarm fatigue: A concept analysis.
Online Journal of Nursing Informatics,
18(2), 1.