In our constant quest to elevate patient safety and outcomes, we recognized there are tools available to help us work smarter, not necessarily harder, to achieve more successes. In my organization, we rolled out a product last year and we’re still working on the process. This is where we need your help.
Below is a diagram from the vendor’s website of how their product is designed to function. As you can see, even when the technology functions with 100% reliability, it still requires human intervention. In our case, we want the alerts firing at multiple levels across the organization. We need someone closest to the fridge to make a human assessment and execute the appropriate change to resolve the matter. We have Pharmacy leaders at a higher level that monitor all 85+ devices across the region to ensure timely action by all. Some of the challenges occur after hours when we’re relying on front-line staff to receive the alert at home and the Pharmacy leader to receive every alert, all of the time. There are also alerts firing for “signal not found” which could mean anything from the power is out completely to the Wi-Fi wasn’t detected for a moment. These scenarios create a regular occurrence of false alarms and thus alarm fatigue.
How should we align our resources, processes and tools to effectively manage the automation we’ve implemented with the expectation of simplifying it all? We have not found that to be the case, and still have excursions of significant amounts due to extenuating circumstances.