Date of Graduation

Spring 5-19-2017

Document Access

Project/Capstone - Global access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


School of Nursing and Health Professions


Reducing Alarm Fatigue in Critical Care


This improvement project took place on the Critical Care Unit (CCU) of a non-profit hospital in Northern California. The unit houses 54 beds, employs over 210 employees, and houses the facility’s central cardiac monitoring station which utilizes unit staff. The objective was to improve patient safety through reducing the risk of alarm fatigue by decreasing the total number of clinical alarms on the unit. Specified goals included a 20% reduction in the number of alarms sounding on the unit with a 20% reduction in telemetry utilization. Goals were chosen based on unit assessment findings in comparison to The Joint Commission’s (TJC) National Patient Safety Goals and associated guidelines, as well as the American Heart Association’s (AHA) guidelines for inpatient continuous cardiac monitoring. Stages of the project were implemented using Lewin’s Change Theory. Findings include a 13% average decrease in telemetry utilization and a decrease in clinical alarms of 29%. The sustainability plan includes annual education modules regarding the alarm management policy and alarm event documentation, continued daily/ periodic auditing of the telemetry order process, and continued gathering of staff feedback through surveys and interviews.