The objectives of this study protocol are to establish baseline data related to the types and frequency of infusion pump alarms from the B. Braun Outlook 400ES Safety Infusion System with the accompanying DoseTrac Infusion Management Software” Glover et al (2018).
BACKGROUND: The variety of alarms from all types of medical devices has increased from 6 to 40 in the last three decades, with today’s most critically ill patients experiencing as many as 45 alarms per hour. Alarm fatigue has been identified as a critical safety issue for clinical staff that can lead to potentially dangerous delays or nonresponse to actionable alarms, resulting in serious patient injury and death. To date, most research on medical device alarms has focused on the nonactionable alarms of physiological monitoring devices. While there have been some reports in the literature related to drug library alerts during the infusion pump programing sequence, research related to the types and frequencies of actionable infusion pump alarms remains largely unexplored.
OBJECTIVE: The objectives of this study protocol are to establish baseline data related to the types and frequency of infusion pump alarms from the B. Braun Outlook 400ES Safety Infusion System with the accompanying DoseTrac Infusion Management Software.
METHODS: The most recent consecutive 60-day period of backup hospital data received between April 2014 and February 2017 from 32 United States-based hospitals will be selected for analysis. Microsoft SQL Server (2012 – 11.0.5343.0 X64) will be used to manage the data with unique code written to sort data and perform descriptive analyses. A validated data management methodology will be utilized to clean and analyze the data. Data management procedures will include blinding, cleaning, and review of existing infusion data within the DoseTrac Infusion Management Software databases at each hospital. Patient-identifying data will be removed prior to merging into a dedicated and secure data repository. This pooled data will then be analyzed.
RESULTS: This exploratory study will analyze the aggregate alarm data for each hospital by care area, drug infused, time of day, and day of week, including: overall infusion pump alarm frequency (number of alarms per active infusion), duration of alarms (average, range, median), and type and frequency of alarms distributed by care area.
CONCLUSIONS: Infusion pump alarm data collected and analyzed in this study will be used to help establish a baseline of infusion pump alarm types and relative frequencies. Understanding the incidences and characteristics of infusion pump alarms will result in more informed quality improvement recommendations to decrease and/or modify infusion pump alarms, and potentially reduce clinical staff alarm fatigue and improve patient safety. .
REGISTERED REPORT IDENTIFIER: RR1-10.2196/10446.
Glover, K.R., Vitoux, R.R., Schuster, C. and Curtin, C.R. (2018) Types and Frequency of Infusion Pump Alarms: Protocol for a Retrospective Data Analysis. JMIR Research Protocols. 7(6), p.e10446.