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William Hyman: If We Could Send a Man to the Moon, Why Can’t We …

June 16, 2016

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A common comparison statement when decrying why we don’t collectively commit ourselves to big endeavors, including better healthcare, is, “If we could send a man to the moon, why can’t we XYZ.” If you are in the moon-landing-never-happened conspiracy theorist camp, this comparison won’t work for you, and you probably will become enraged, so stop […]

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Wong and Razzano: Financial Objections Don’t Add Up in Monitoring Debate

June 10, 2016

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ECRI Institute, in its report Top Ten Safety Concerns for 2016, again identified a lack of appropriate monitoring of patients receiving opioids as a major issue. A lack of resources, especially money, is often cited by hospitals as a major obstacle to implementing continuous electronic monitoring. Although hospitals may have resource limitations, there are increased […]

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Suzanne Steidl: Hello Challenge! Meet Solution

November 20, 2015

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“There’s nothing worse than watching someone you love suffer and not knowing what to do,” said Edith Elliott who, as a middle-school student, cared for her mother who had a brain tumor. A Wall Street Journal article about the 31-year-old American is inspiring, though I wish we could accomplish as much here in the United […]

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Frank E. Block, Jr.: Will Surveillance Alarm Systems for Opioid-Induced Respiratory Depression Make Things Better or Worse?

February 12, 2015

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AAMI and other organizations have been urging hospitals to address the problem of deaths from opioid-induced respiratory depression by installing surveillance alarm systems for all patients who are receiving opioids. But would such systems actually work? Ideally, one would perform a suitable study to investigate the issue. The objection is that such a study would […]

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Sean Loughlin: Big Lesson Comes from Minor Glitch

January 21, 2015

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Sometimes a glitch in your routine can give you new insight into the far more serious challenges that other professionals wrestle with every day. Let me explain. At AAMI headquarters, we have a large conference room, equipped with roughly 25 wireless microphones, where various committees, working groups, and visitors discuss important issues related to healthcare […]

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Maureen F. Cooney: Technology Alone Is Not the Answer for Effective Patient Monitoring

December 16, 2014

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Continuous monitoring of patients receiving opioid therapy to prevent opioid-related respiratory depression certainly offers the hope of reducing devastating outcomes from our well-intended efforts to assure patient comfort. However, in this climate of rapid, high-tech, outcomes-driven healthcare, it is essential to keep in mind the end user—particularly the bedside nurse. In most hospitals, nurses employed […]

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Laurence Pritchett: The Fear of Technology in Healthcare

November 21, 2014

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There is a belief and hope today that technology will solve all our problems. Well, it won’t! Technology can go a long way to help with patient safety and administering the best care to patients, but it isn’t a panacea. There is also a fear of technology: What it is, what it does, is it […]

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Jim Smith: A Call to Action in Making the ‘Systems’ Work

July 31, 2014

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I learned recently of AAMI’s plans to publish an issue of Horizons devoted to the topic of systems engineering in healthcare. It is vitally important to highlight the requirement that systems be designed around standards-based and nonproprietary interconnectedness in healthcare. Much of the unnecessary cost burden shouldered by healthcare and particular healthcare technology management (HTM) […]

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Tim Vanderveen: Don’t Approach the Challenges of Pump Alarms with a Broad Brush

May 28, 2014

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Last month’s inaugural meeting of the National Coalition for Alarm Management Safety prompted me to consider how much we have learned about the effective management of clinical alarms—and how much we have yet to learn. I had the opportunity to provide some data on infusion pump alarms and alerts collected over a three- month period […]

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William Hyman: Beep, Beep

April 21, 2014

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There was an interesting thread recently on the listserv for the National Patient Safety Foundation on whether medication barcode readers should beep (or make some other noise) when read. Such systems are typically part of medication “verification” and serve to populate the electronic health record. Since the medication administration remains manual in most cases, the […]

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