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New vital sign monitoring system may improve care for hospitalized patients

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A recent study indicates that a newly designed vital sign monitoring system can improve patient safety in medical and surgical units without an abundance of unnecessary alarms.

When the system was installed for four weeks in two medical/surgical units–one in Utah and one in Alabama–92% of the nurses agreed that the number of alarms and alerts were appropriate and 100% agreed that the monitor provided valuable patient data that increased patient safety. On average, both units experienced 10.8 alarms per patient, per day. The system continuously monitors patients' oxygen saturation levels, heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration rate.

"We are very excited to be using this advanced technology. Continuous monitoring of our patients is revolutionizing the way we care for our patients," said Pam Booker, senior author of the Journal of Clinical Nursing study. "Our nurses love the ability to keep a closer eye on their patients, and this system has the ability to notify the nurses when vital signs change, no matter where they are in the hospital."

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