Last week, I talked about physical and psychological effects of alert fatigue. This is part two to that article, where I’m going to discuss strategies for reducing alert fatigue in your hospital or facility.
Strategies for leadership and providers
Establish alert parameters based on the department. Slight irregularities in vitals may be more concerning for certain patients than others. Set alerts to reflect only those triggers which could prove critical.
Create a “quiet zone.” Setting up a small room with a few places to sit and recharge in quiet can help alleviate existing alert fatigue. Consider furnishing with a few magazines, notepads and pens, or plants, and avoid normal breakroom staples like televisions, microwaves, or even refrigerators that can create unwanted noise.
Utilize smart-analytics in your notification system. Increasing the accuracy of alerts, and limiting alert info to critical information, can significantly reduce the amount of alerts each physician sees a day. The Collective platform uses smart analytics to identify and deliver only the most critical information to providers at the point of care.
Strategies to use with patients
Review expectations with the patient and family. Talking with the patient upfront about possible noise levels can allow the patient and loved ones to be prepared. Ear plugs can be supplied, or an MP3 device can be brought from home that allows the patient to listen to relaxing music or an audiobook rather than the din of the hospital.
Provide headphones for use with the television. In rooms where patients are sharing with another patient—or in areas where rooms are close-together—consider getting headphones that a patient can use with the television set to block out ambient noise for the patient watching, and reduce noise pollution for others in the area.
Establish quiet hours. Creating pockets of “quiet time” where television, music, and even visitors are prohibited can help patients relax and get the rest they really need.
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