Mathematical Techniques for Mitigating Alarm Fatigue

The problem with attenuating alarm data is achieving the balance between communicating the essential, patient-safety specific information that will provide proper notification to clinical staff while minimizing the excess, spurious and non-emergent events that are not indicative of a threat to patient safety. In the absence of contextual information, the option is usually to err on the side of excess because the risk of missing an emergent alarm or notification carries with it the potential for high cost (e.g.: patient harm or death).

The purpose of this study is to look at the mathematics and some of the techniques and options available for evaluating real-time data. The objective is to suggest a dialog for further research and investigation into the use of such techniques as appropriate. Clearly, patient safety, regulatory, staff fatigue and other factors must be taken into account in terms of aligning on a best approach or practice (if one can even be identified). These aspects of alarm fatigue are intentionally omitted from the discussion at this point (to be taken up at another time) so that a pure study of the physics of the parameter data and techniques for analyzing can be explored.

A copy of the full white paper, Mathematical Techniques for Mitigating Alarm Fatigue v001, is available for download.

Author: johnrzaleski_eqbr0v

John R. Zaleski, PhD, CAP, CPHIMS, is Chief Analytics Officer of Bernoulli, a leader in real-time connected healthcare. Dr. Zaleski brings 21 years of experience in researching and ushering to market devices and products to improve healthcare. He received his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania, with a dissertation that describes a novel approach for modeling and prediction of post-operative respiratory behavior in post-surgical cardiac patients. Dr. Zaleski has a particular expertise in designing, developing, and implementing clinical and non-clinical point-of-care applications for hospital enterprises. Dr. Zaleski is the named inventor or co-inventor on seven issued patents related to medical device interoperability. He is the author of numerous peer-reviewed articles on clinical use of medical device data, information technology and medical devices and wrote three seminal books on integrating medical device data into electronic health records and the use of medical device data for clinical decision making, including the #1 best seller of HIMSS 2015 on connected medical devices.

2 thoughts on “Mathematical Techniques for Mitigating Alarm Fatigue”

  1. Just saw your DC15 with an outboard mount – neat stuff — did you have to back that from the inside of the aft deck at all? I was always afraid of mounting anything back there given how light the transom feels.
    Last summer sailing on the hudson we float downstream and had to be towed back up after sunset…. trying to avoid a repeat!

    1. No. The backing plate was already present – built into the fibre glass.

      But, this is all now history: the boat is sold and I’m onto the next passion (actually, back to the old passion) of rowing & sculling. See my post on that this week.

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