Patient Safety Implications of Electronic Alerts and Alarms of Maternal – Fetal Status During Labor

Kathleen Rice Simpson, Audrey Lyndon, Leigh Ann Davidson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

When nurses care for women during labor, they encounter numerous alerts and alarms from electronic fetal monitors and their surveillance systems. Notifications of values of physiologic parameters for a woman and fetus that may be outside preset limits are generated via visual and audible cues. There is no standardization of these alert and alarm parameters among electronic fetal monitoring vendors in the United States, and there are no data supporting their sensitivity and specificity. Agreement among professional organizations about physiologic parameters for alerts and alarms commonly used during labor is lacking. It is unknown if labor nurses view the alerts and alarms as helpful or a nuisance. There is no evidence that they promote or hinder patient safety. This clinical issue warrants our attention as labor nurses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)358-366
Number of pages9
JournalNursing for Women's Health
Volume20
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016

Keywords

  • alarm fatigue
  • electronic fetal monitoring
  • labor and birth
  • patient safety
  • perinatal nursing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)

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