Team-Tested Practices
Irvine Medical Center RN Jennifer Nanasca.

Patients should never be off telemetry monitoring for more than 3 minutes. Pictured with a patient is Irvine Medical Center RN Jennifer Nanasca.

Telemetry Monitoring Is Critical to Good Care

Telemetry monitoring can be a literal lifeline for the patient. Best practice guidelines state there should not be any lapse longer than 3 minutes. Possible brain damage can occur due to lack of oxygen at 4 to 6 minutes. The Progressive Care Unit and Telemetry at Sunnyside Medical Center found they were averaging 22 patients per month who were off their monitors. Through huddles and shift reports, the staff was informed of the problem and dropped the average number of patients to 5 per month, who were off telemetry monitoring for more than 3 minutes.

Here's What Worked

  • Identifying the number of patients off telemetry monitoring for longer than 3 minutes and why
  • Huddling to discuss the severity and consequences of the problem
  • Creating reminders to check monitors, and make it part of the routine

What can your team do hardwire improvements you make into your workflow?

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