Top 6 Ways to Avoid Alarm Fatigue With Secure Texting Alerts

01.31.18 TigerText Healthcare, Industry Insights
Top 6 Ways to Avoid Alarm Fatigue With Secure Texting Alerts

With the overwhelming number of alarms occurring daily, clinicians deal with excess noise pollution. This results in hundreds of alarms being ignored, which puts patients’ health at risk. Switching to a secure clinical communication solution eliminates noise pollution and connects care teams instantly through their mobile devices.

Here are 6 ways your healthcare organization can prevent alarm fatigue by using a clinical communication and collaboration platform like TigerText:

  1. Avoid alarm annoyance
    Many clinicians will turn off or tune out alarms after realizing that the patient is not in immediate danger or the alarm was meant for another care team member. In these non-life-threatening situations secure text messaging notifications will go directly to the clinician’s mobile device and allow them to closely monitor the situation and respond as needed. This reduces overhead noise and prevents clinicians from becoming desensitized to alarms, allowing them to more effectively provide care.
  2. Request delivery notifications
    Current processes do not give clinical staff the ability to confirm alarms are answered and resolved. An alarm could go unnoticed for thirty minutes without a clinician responding to the patient. Secure messaging solutions offer notifications after a message is sent, delivered, and then read by the recipient. This allows for better alert management and accountability within care teams.
  3. Reduce overhead noise
    One of the biggest questions health facilities ask is how to reduce overhead noise in clinical settings. Hospital staff members are exposed to over 100 alarms per bed on a daily basis. This creates a hectic environment for both the clinician and patient. Secure texting eliminates unnecessary overhead noise caused by alarms and paging systems by opening up clinician’s smartphones as a channel of communication.
  4. Understand your healthcare organization’s architectural strategy
    Larger facilities need different communication strategies than smaller practices. Understanding how and what is needed to simplify and improve your existing communication strategy can greatly reduce alarm fatigue. Begin by learning what your organization’s care model is, then map out each staff member’s individual responsibility and what will be communicated between departments. Once you understand those needs, you can easily select a communication tool such as secure texting to instantly deliver alerts to multiple staff members no matter their device or location.
  5. Know your organization’s technological limitations
    Many organizations do not have the budget to purchase state of the art alarm systems or stay up to date with software updates. This causes technological malfunctions in alarm systems that can result in patient safety risks. By implementing a clinical communication solution utilizing a familiar SMS messaging interface, clinicians can quickly integrate it into their workflow.
  6. Be selective of what constitutes as an emergency alert
    There is no way to differentiate between the type of attention a patient needs when an alarm goes off. An allergy alert may sound the same as a heart attack alarm. This causes clinicians to ignore some alarms if they do not think the issue at hand is pressing. A modern clinical communication solution allows clinicians to describe the alert in detail and even send images to help better assess the situation. When faced with so many alerts over the course of a single shift, clinicians need as much detail as possible to help prioritize their time.

Clinicians are quickly becoming desensitized to alarm alerts and ignoring critical patient alert notifications. To help cut down on alarm fatigue and improve patient care, organizations can take advantage of secure clinical communication platforms.

To learn more about TigerText and our communication products, click here.