Patients in noncritical settings may have underlying cardiac conditions or demonstrate unexpected symptoms and condition changes that require continuous or physiologic cardiac monitoring or transfers to a higher level of care, for which appropriate treatment may be delayed due to bed unavailability. Many facilities implement remote cardiac monitoring to facilitate alarm notification. Remote cardiac monitoring of patients in noncritical care areas alerts healthcare providers about patient condition changes, which may avoid further deterioration of patient conditions and potential cardiac arrests. Remote cardiac monitoring alone does not ensure patient condition changes are successfully communicated to appropriate healthcare providers. Seventy-four percent of the 194 Incidents and Serious Events reported to the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority from June 2004 to December 2008 associated with remote cardiac monitoring were issues with communication or monitoring problems. Monitoring problems include the failure to monitor, the unavailability of monitors, or delay in monitoring. Healthcare providers may consider incorporating risk reduction strategies that include more effective communication between care areas, delineation of personnel responsibility, and standard protocols for alarm conditions.
Reproduced with permission of the copyright holder. Further use of the material is subject to CC BY-NC-DC license. (More information)