Send to

Choose Destination
J Electrocardiol. 2018 Nov - Dec;51(6S):S44-S48. doi: 10.1016/j.jelectrocard.2018.07.024. Epub 2018 Jul 29.

A call to alarms: Current state and future directions in the battle against alarm fatigue.

Author information

School of Nursing, University of Pittsburgh, United States. Electronic address:
School of Nursing, University of Pittsburgh, United States.
Auton Lab, Robotics Institute, School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University, United States.
Schools of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, United States.


Research demonstrates that the majority of alarms derived from continuous bedside monitoring devices are non-actionable. This avalanche of unreliable alerts causes clinicians to experience sensory overload when attempting to sort real from false alarms, causing desensitization and alarm fatigue, which in turn leads to adverse events when true instability is neither recognized nor attended to despite the alarm. The scope of the problem of alarm fatigue is broad, and its contributing mechanisms are numerous. Current and future approaches to defining and reacting to actionable and non-actionable alarms are being developed and investigated, but challenges in impacting alarm modalities, sensitivity and specificity, and clinical activity in order to reduce alarm fatigue and adverse events remain. A multi-faceted approach involving clinicians, computer scientists, industry, and regulatory agencies is needed to battle alarm fatigue.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center