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Alarm Management 2014
Early Efforts to Tame Alarms

author - Paul Hess
Paul Hess
author - Jonathan Christensen
Jonathan Christensen
October 10, 2014 | Read Time: 3  minutes

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With clinicians getting inundated by alarms from patient monitors and other medical devices, it is no wonder The Joint Commission has established National Patient Safety Goals (NPSGs) to manage alarms. Alarm management vendors provide a conduit between the alarm sources and the clinicians who receive alarms. Which vendors are aiding early adopters in incorporating alarms and patient data beyond nurse call? Which systems are most flexible and who provides the best guidance? KLAS spoke with 55 early adopters to find out.

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Alarm management beyond nurse call is an emerging market. Connexall is the early leader in performance and market share in this area. Connexall’s performance score places them in the top 4% of IT products monitored by KLAS. Customers report that Cardiopulmonary Corp., Extension Healthcare, and Cerner CareAware also perform well. Spok and Philips have room to improve as they look to expand.


Connexall is very flexible for inbound sources (though focused on alarms) and outbound delivery. Cerner CareAware and Extension are more flexible with inbound sources than outbound delivery methods. Spok is very flexible for outbound delivery. Philips has proven flexible in receiving numerous inbound sources and delivering alarms. Philips and Extension customers noted the most difficulty incorporating inbound alarms. Cardiopulmonary Corp. is primarily incorporating ventilator-type information and delivering that to monitoring stations/pagers.


In this emerging market, providers do not receive a prescriptive, standardized approach to reducing alarm fatigue. However, some vendors excel at implementing provider-developed strategies. Customers praise Connexall’s service-oriented culture and laud Cardiopulmonary Corp.’s ventilator guidance. Customers are pleased with Cerner’s CareAware executive engagement and Extension’s proactive guidance but noted that both vendor shave growing pains. Spok customer experiences depend on the customers’ representative, and Philips customers noted little ongoing involvement from the vendor.


Comprehensive, easily consumable analytics that target alarms to reduce fatigue are largely missing today. Only Cardiopulmonary Corp.’s tools are highly regarded,though they are limited to alarm audits or ventilator data. Customers said that Connexall’s canned reports lack detail and that Cerner CareAware’s reports, though comprehensive, require special training. Other vendors’ tools are not frequently used or were rated very poorly.

overall performance score
vendor flexibility in receipt and delivery of alarms
primary methods of alarm delivery
incorporating content
how well does my vendor partner



Second largest alarm management customer base.+ Regarded as flexible, though limited on inbound alarms (ventilator/pulse oximeters) and outbound delivery methods (monitoring stations/pagers). Highly regarded service. Easy to use. Good reporting tools for auditing alarms and viewing discrete data.


Few alarm management customers. Good executive involvement and proactive response, though inconsistent when sharing best practices. Very flexible for inbound sources. Outbound delivery generally limited to monitoring stations, wireless phones, and smartphones. Comprehensive reporting views require specialized training.


Largest alarm management customer base; extremely high performer (96th percentile of all KLAS-monitored products). Proactive service and good vendor guidance. Regarded as flexible; delivers all inbound alarms (but little patient information) through numerous outbound methods. Canned reports limited and lacking detail.


Smallest alarm management customer base. Good, but stretched, support. Many contributing inbound sources. Limited delivery methods—wireless phones most common. Limited usage of reporting tools for alarm audits.

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This material is copyrighted. Any organization gaining unauthorized access to this report will be liable to compensate KLAS for the full retail price. Please see the KLAS DATA USE POLICY for information regarding use of this report. © 2021 KLAS Research, LLC. All Rights Reserved. NOTE: Performance scores may change significantly when including newly interviewed provider organizations, especially when added to a smaller sample size like in emerging markets with a small number of live clients. The findings presented are not meant to be conclusive data for an entire client base.