Alarm Safety in Hospitals

Learn how to meet the Joint Commission's new NPSG related to alarm safety!  

See how Johns Hopkins tackled one of ECRI's top health technology hazards!

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The Johns Hopkins Hospital implemented several major initiatives to reduce hazardous situations related to alarm systems.  By relying on data to determine baseline alarm priority levels and then evaluating the effectiveness of improvement efforts, the alarm improvement effort greatly reduced noise in monitored units, made clinicians more attentive to the alarm signals that do sound, and worked to optimize both technology and workflow at every step in the process. Since the alarm improvement efforts began in 2006, The Johns Hopkins Hospital has seen:

  • 43% reduction in high priority alarm conditions
  • Up to 74% reduction of alarm conditions
  • 47% percent reduction in total alarm conditions units performing daily electrode change

ECRI Institute named The Johns Hopkins Hospital winner of the 2012 Health Devices Achievement Award.

Target Audience

Nursing leaders, executive leadership, risk managers, administrators, and legal counsel who want to make alarm safety a priority in their hospitals.

If you wish to schedule a consultation (phone or in person) or set up a site visit at Johns Hopkins, please contact us about our services and fees.

Johns Hopkins Health System clinical staff and JHU School of Nursing faculty/students are welcome to take this series of courses free of charge.  To access the  coupon code, go to the JHH Nursing Intranet. If you are with JHHS or JHUSON, but aren't able to access the coupon, contact us.

Learning Objectives

  1. Describe the underlying causes of alarm desensitization.
  2. Discuss The Joint Commission's National Patient Safety Goal on alarm management.
  3. State five proactive approaches that hospitals can take to improve alarm safety.
  4. Describe the Johns Hopkins Hospital alarm management initiative.
  5. Distinguish between primary and ancillary alarm notification.
  6. Identify ancillary technology solutions to enhance alarm notifications.
Additional information
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Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 1.50 ANCC
Course opens: 
Course expires: 

Maria Cvach DNP, RN, FAAN, Director of Policy Management and Integration at the Johns Hopkins Health System, Baltimore. Maria has presented on the topic of alarm fatigue at the National Alarm Summit and the International Society for Computerized Electrocardiology, among many others.  She was recently featured in an article in the Washington Post.

Available Credit

  • 1.50 ANCC


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