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HomeFocus → How to Cope with Alert Fatigue

How to Cope with Alert Fatigue Print E-mail
Written by Kang Hsu, MD | MEDITECH Blog   
Friday, 20 April 2018 16:43

As caregivers, we all fall victim to "alert fatigue," when the sheer number of alerts a clinician receives causes them to unknowingly miss important safety warnings. Ironically, all these alerts that are meant to improve patient safety can cause workers to become desensitized and potentially miss important warnings; from incessant smartphone buzzing, to tablet chimes or the blinking red indicators of your EHR.

Not everything is so dire, and we need to triage out the truly critical from the other serious notifications. In my opinion, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) hits some great points in their very concise patient safety primer on the subject.

First, we need to increase alert specificity by getting rid of clinically inconsequential alerts. We should then conform alerts to individual patients and patient profiles. And finally, place all alerts on a tier system, according to severity. This could mean a color coded system, making higher-level alerts interruptive, or personalizing the warnings to the clinical user.

Last Updated on Friday, 20 April 2018 16:53
 


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