False or clinically insignificant alarms, which do not represent a real danger to patients, often occur at hospitals and healthcare facilities. Exposure to excessive alarms, which do not require medical intervention, can result in desensitization among healthcare providers who are intended to respond to these alerts. This is known as alarm fatigue.

Alarm fatigue is similar to the classic story of The Boy Who Cried Wolf. If false alarms happen regularly, this can lead to reflexive silencing of alarms, breaking monitoring protocols, and missing true positive alarms. As a result, this may jeopardize the healthcare provider’s ability to care for patients, leading to patient dissatisfaction, costly interruptions, and potential harm to patients.

Alarms that can occur on a patient security system

All of these are important events and alarms. If one of them occurs, staff needs to respond – and in some cases – immediately investigate and make sure all patients are safe and secure. But just like the boy who cried wolf, if these alarms occur too often, staff can become complacent and alarm fatigue may set in.

Alarm fatigue reduction

Convergint is aware of potential problems, and aims to reduce alarm fatigue on all patient security systems. All systems under warranty are monitored as well as those that have purchased a support agreement by downloading a copy of the alarm database every month. Convergint uses a software tool to monitor alarm rates on each type of alarm.  

When the alarm rate exceeds the predetermined threshold as a percentage of admissions, a team of healthcare specialists evaluates to determine the root cause of the alarms. This may be caused by a user error, in which case Convergint’s training team will proactively contact the customer to schedule additional user training. In other cases, there may be a technical issue, for which the service team gets involved to resolve the matter. The Convergint support team takes this seriously and proactively strives to prevent alarm fatigue.

A global leader in systems integration

Convergint is a global, service-based systems integrator focused on mission-critical security, fire, and life safety infrastructure. Convergint offers last-mile delivery for emerging technology, backed by a 20-year commitment to its core value of service. To learn more, contact Convergint’s team of healthcare experts today.