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New national patient safety goals on clinical alarms in hospitals

Narrator:       This is Science Today. The Joint Commission, which accredits more than 20,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States, has approved new National Patient Safety Goals on clinical alarm safety for hospitals. The goal is to reduce the growing problem of alarm fatigue. Barbara Drew, an internationally-known expert in cardiac monitoring, says starting this month, hospitals have to establish alarm safety as a priority and identify the most important alarms to manage.

Drew:             So, all hospitals now are looking at alarm management, how do they respond to alarms and taking a look at this patient safety issue. 

Narrator:       Drew is part of a small, nationwide group of nurse scientists who are conducting research to try to ease the problem of alarm fatigue.

Drew:             We just want some of the background noise cut down because it's either false or it's irrelevant and I'm glad there's focus at the national level. I've been back to the FDA to talk to them about this problem and I think they're hearing that this is a number one issue that we want to tackle and solve it.

Narrator:       For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.