ECRI Institute, Plymouth Meeting, Penn, an independent nonprofit that researches the best approaches to improving patient care, has named The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Md, the winner of its 7th Annual Health Devices Achievement Award. The award recognizes an outstanding initiative undertaken by an ECRI Institute member health care institution to improve patient safety, reduce costs, or otherwise facilitate better strategic management of health technology. ECRI chose Johns Hopkins for its exemplary efforts in reducing hazardous situations and adverse events related to alarm systems.

The award-winning, interdisciplinary alarm management committee analyzed alarm data to gain an understanding of the type, frequency, and duration of alarms. They then applied multiple small tests of changes to alarm settings. By making modest changes to default parameter settings, along with standardizing care and equipment and providing reliable ancillary alarm notification, the team was able to significantly reduce the number of clinically insignificant alarms. Johns Hopkins attributes its success to the strong support from the alarm committee members who champion the alarm safety effort at the bedside.