The AAMI Foundation has named the first recipients of funding from The Mary K. Logan Research Awards Program. The two grants, worth a total of $80,000, will go to researchers at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Boise, Idado-based Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center, which is part of the Trinity Health System.

This awards program, which was named in honor of AAMI’s former president and CEO, was established in 2016 with a gift from the association’s Board of Directors. It is intended to support research and initiatives that focus on improving patient safety and eliminating morbidity and mortality associated with the use of healthcare technology.

Developing Guidelines for Continuous Monitoring of Hospitalized Children

The AAMI Foundation awarded $45,000 to a Cincinnati Children’s research team, led by Amanda Schondelmeyer, assistant professor of pediatrics. The group will focus on developing evidence- and consensus-based guidelines for the use of continuous pulse oximetry and cardiorespiratory monitoring in hospitalized children.

“Failing to monitor patients who are likely to benefit from monitoring can result in unrecognized deterioration and death; however, unnecessary monitoring in patients unlikely to benefit can contribute to alarm fatigue and harm,” Schondelmeyer says. “Our guidelines will combine existing evidence and expert opinion to help doctors monitor the patients at highest risk of decompensation, leading to fewer meaningless alarms.”

With the funding they received from the AAMI Foundation, Schondelmeyer and her team plan to assemble a panel of experts to develop these guidelines and then publish them in a peer-reviewed journal, providing a “clear and immediate path to implementation.”

Making Clinical Alarm Sounds More Meaningful

Although there are many initiatives underway to reduce nonactionable clinical alarms—the proliferation of which has led to the problem of “alarm fatigue”—auditory alarms serve a valuable purpose in hospitals, according to Melanie Wright, program director of patient safety research at Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center.

“However, humans are limited in their ability to recall what different sounds mean, and there is little consistency or standardization across different devices or systems to help clinicians interpret and appropriately respond to these sounds,” Wright says.

Because of this, Wright and her team are interested in capturing the needs of hospital nurses and nursing assistants to determine which categories of alarm situations are most important to convey through sound. They were awarded $35,000 by the AAMI Foundation to help conduct this research.

“Working on research supported by AAMI benefits our research team beyond the actual monetary support. It also provides visibility and access to the supportive AAMI community of care providers, researchers, and manufacturers. This access helps to ensure the generalizability and applicability of the research project,” Wright says.