The Indiana medical malpractice lawyers at our firm have earlier blogged about alarm fatigue and the risk of medical errors from this phenomenon. The Joint Commission recently issued an alert, warning hospitals to focus seriously on the very real risks of medical errors caused by alarm fatigue.
According to the Joint Commission, devices that come with alarms are used widely in US hospitals for a variety of purposes, and are indispensable in delivering safe care to patients. Doctors depend heavily on these devices to get the kind of information that they need to deliver the right kind of care to patients.
However, according to the Joint Commission alert, these devices also present a number of challenges for hospitals and healthcare workers, because they emit similar sounds. When the default settings are not changed, the alarm sounds will be very similar, and due to the multitude of such sounds emitting from every device in the hospital, medical personnel may neglect to respond to these alarms.