Last week I was pleased to participate in Tampa OneConnex, an all-day conference hosted by Connexall, the industry leader in alarm management and event notification. Clinicians and IT folks shared their knowledge and wealth of experience, focusing on the importance of transparency, inclusivity and collaboration when implementing best practices for alarm and alert management.
Dr. Maria Cvach, DNP, RN, FAAN, Assistant Director of Nursing, Clinical Standards, at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, advised everyone in attendance to use their alarm data to continually improve. Share with your front line staff, support them in their work environment, and give them the right tools to create excellence in care delivery. Great advice!
Dr. Ronald Wyatt, Medical Director in the Division of Healthcare Improvement at The Joint Commission, shared that leadership is paramount to ensure data drives clinical decision-making for your alarm management program. I couldn’t agree more. Exemplary leadership is critical to position healthcare organizations front and center with their alarm and alert management programs.
Recently, I was honored to be invited by Editor-in-Chief Rosanne Raso, RN, MS, NEA-BC, to write an article on leadership in Nursing Management journal, a peer-reviewed publication from Wolters Kluwer Health. In “Exemplary leadership: How style and culture predict organizational outcomes,” I point out that all nursing leaders aim to provide exemplary leadership, and we’re in a pivotal position to support and change the healthcare landscape by doing so. As nurse leaders, we’re on stage every day, with administrators, providers, and other leaders observing our styles, behaviors, attitudes and performance outcomes.
As healthcare organizations work to meet The Joint Commission’s National Patient Safety Goal for alarm management, now is the time for nurses to embrace their leadership roles. In my travels from coast to coast, I’m seeing many nurse leaders step up and ask questions about alarm settings and notifications. What are physicians ordering in terms of monitoring patients? How does technology and practice come together behind the scenes to impact care?
If you’re serious about excellence in alarm management, step up to a leadership role by:
- Asking your front-line staff how alarms and alerts create barriers to care.
- Evaluating training and development programs, and analyzing how your front-line staff perceives these programs.
- Considering what you can do to lead your organization toward better clinical communication, workflow, care delivery and clinical practice.
- Asking yourself how actionable alarms and alerts can help drive core metrics related to patient engagement, nurse responsiveness and patient safety.
Excellence in alarm management requires leadership. If you value a culture of inclusiveness and improvement, then model that for your staff by taking a leadership role that inspires them and ultimately impacts patients at the bedside.
Candace Smith, MPA, RN, NEA-BC, is Chief Nursing Officer at Voalte.