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How to avoid “alert fatigue”

  • Steven Shaha, Ph.D., DBA
  • 06/11/2015

Some of us remember the old days and the art of tuning a radio. We finely adjusted the dials as we approached channels to get a clear signal, filtering out all the static and noise. The classic case of optimizing the signal-to-noise ratio. The art of optimizing our signal-to-noise ratio is alive and well when it comes to electronic health record (EHR) alerts. It’s important that alerts are relevant and meaningful to clinicians, or we run the risk of too much information becoming just noise. That’s the near-perfect definition of what we’ve come to refer to as “alert fatigue” among clinicians, which can be hazardous for everyone involved. Meaningful alerts help improve clinical results Here’s an example of how an organization not only optimized the signal-to-noise ratio, but conquered alert fatigue and improved clinical results. And all by addressing alerts […]