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Bedside communication and management of vital parameters and alarms in care-intensive environments: Simulation model development for the clinical effectiveness analysis of an innovative technology

Immacolata De Rosa, Alessandro Pepino, Gianluca Giaconia, Mario Guarino
Global Clinical Engineering Journal , Volume 2, pp 45-56; doi:10.31354/globalce.v2i3.86

Abstract: Background and Objective. The deliberation n.7301 of 31/12/2001 provides for the inclusion of a call system with acoustic and luminous signalling within the minimum equipment of the recovery ward. However, traditional call systems are inefficient since they are based on the following incorrect assumptions: patients and staff are unmoving, information sources are static and assistance is unidirectional. Taking care of a patient involves different figures who should be dynamic and should be able to exchange information. Furthermore, the high number of clinical calls and alarms might be an issue, because on one hand they are essential to fulfil patients’ needs, but on the other hand they could cause stress and additional workload on medical staff. Indeed, they sometimes ignore some calls or waste a lot of time on non-urgent requests. In addition, the identification of an alarm and the prompt intervention seems to be more difficult during travelling. An ideal alarm system should have 100% sensitivity and specificity. Nevertheless, the alarms are designed to be extremely sensitive, at the expense of specificity. The alarm fatigue, that is the work overload due to an excessive alarms number exposition, is a critical problem in terms of safety in the current clinical practice because it involves desensitization and alarm loss, causing sometimes even the patient's death. Material and Methods. Therefore, appropriate approaches to notifications should be evaluated, including the effectiveness of mobile wireless technologies: linking patients, staff, data, services and medical devices simplifies communications and workflows. Several issues related to the communication among staff members, between patient and caregiver and to the alarms and vital parameters distribution in care-intensive environments have been analysed, focusing on the clinical effectiveness analysis of an innovative technology to support the Emergency Department of the Azienda Ospedaliera dei Colli activities. Afterwards, we have created a simulation model with Simul8, so that a digital twin reproduces direct and indirect activities in two cases: with and without (What If and As Is model) the aid of the technology. Results and conclusions. The model provides a set of Key Performance Indicators (number of performing activities, average alarm resolution time, waiting time) on which the compensatory aggregation method is applied to elaborate a single final score in both cases. This score is 52,5 in the As Is Model and 80 in the What If model. So, the clinical effectiveness has been demonstrated.
Keywords: model / Alarms / vital parameters / Effectiveness Analysis / Innovative technology / care intensive environments

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