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How Real-Time Alarm Management Improves Patient Care

Real-time alarm management reduces clinician response times and increases operational efficiency and patient care.

real-time alarm management improves patient care.

Source: Thinkstock

By Elizabeth O'Dowd

- Panasonic announced its Panasonic Senior Care Facility Communications Solution, designed to reduce staff response times and increase efficiency by giving clinicians real-time alarm management tools.

The solution aims to increase patient safety and satisfaction while reducing personnel costs by cutting back on the amount of time it takes to respond and treat patients.

The tool also integrates with a facility’s alarm system and enables real-time alarm status and monitoring, alarm management, and produces comprehensive reports based on activity.

 “The Panasonic Senior Care Facility Communications Solution will revolutionize how staff are able to deliver care and interact with patients and residents within senior care facilities,” Panasonic System Communications Company of North America Product Manager for Unified Communications Oliver Bodden said in a statement.

“The accountability and connectivity enabled by this full suite of products, which was designed specifically for the health care industry, empowers senior care facilities to provide quality care while alleviating staff’s alarm fatigue,” Bodden continued. “Plus, with customizable features and software add-ons, facilities can tailor solutions to fit their specific needs.”

The solution includes Direct Care Connect (DCC), DCare, the KX-DTU100 Digital Communications Terminal and DECT cordless handsets.

DCC allows supervisors to access the metrics of each alarm, which enables them to identify the frequency and urgency of each alarm that allows them to prioritize responses and prevent alarm escalation.

DCare is an Android BYOD application that can be used with the existing WiFi network and gives users access to real-time analytics. It also allows users to view patient alarm histories and track caregivers in real-time to see how quickly and frequently they are responding to alarms.

The KX-DTU100 Digital Communications Terminal is a full-duplex speakerphone that lets residents and caregivers communicate clearly and enables two-way communication.

The DECT cordless handsets receives communication from the DCare application, which escalates alarms to the handset when necessary. If an organization does not have WiFi, the DECT handset can be used to replace walkie-talkies for more reliable means of communication between caregivers and patients.

The solution leverages actionable data from the four core elements so organizations can improve patient satisfaction and reduce wasted efforts and operational costs.

Real-time data and response times become more important to the healthcare industry as tools that can reduce response times continue to make their way into health IT infrastructure.

Organizations are using mobile and Internet of Things (IoT) devices to monitor and manage patient alarms so entities can form a more organized response approach while increasing the quality of patient care.

Back in March, Newton-Wellesley and EarlySense collaborated to use the IoT and implement EarlySense’s Continuous Monitoring Solution. The goal was to reduce nurse response times to alarms and improve patient outcomes.

The partnership began in response to The Joint Commission’s 2009 National Patient Safety Goal (NPAG) on Alarm Management, which urged hospitals to "improve recognition and response to changes in a patient's condition." The initiative was supported by Newton-Wellesley physicians and the clinical nurses in the medical surgical division.

Newton-Wellesley reported that the Continuous Monitoring System implementation has an overall reduction of 59 percent in median nurse response times to alarms.

Managing and monitoring alarms is useful in many different healthcare scenarios and use cases. Using solutions that connect management and monitoring solutions to the network gives clinicians a much clearer view of alarms and what they kinds of alarms are being set off more frequently.

Solutions that allow clinicians to better communicate with patients by offering two-way communication tools can give caregivers a better understanding of a patient’s needs before they arrive at the patient’s room. This allows clinicians to be more prepared, and cuts back on the amount of time they need to spend with each patient while still providing the necessary care.