Team-Tested Practices
Irvine Medical Center RN Jennifer Nanasca.

Patients should never be off telemetry monitoring for more than three 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, and best practice guidelines state there should not be any lapse longer than three minutes. Possible brain damage can occur due to lack of oxygen at four to six minutes. The Progressive Care Unit and Telemetry at Sunnyside Medical 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 five per month, who were off telemetry monitoring for more than three minutes.

What Got Results

  • Identifying the number of patients off telemetry monitoring for longer than three 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
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