The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2005 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

Reduction in use of continuous pulse oximetry on general floor patients after implementing an indication based policy.

John Emberger BS RRT, Maureen Seckel RN MSN, Billie Speakman BS RRT, Departments of Respiratory and Nursing, Christiana Care Health System, Newark, DE

Background: Continuous pulse oximetry (CPO) is frequently ordered on general floor patients. Patients may or may not have had appropriate indications for continuous pulse oximetry. False alarms from continuous pulse oximetry devices can divert clinical staff away from where they are needed. We wanted to create a CPO policy for general floor patients based on indications.

Methods:
An indication based policy was drafted and approved by our institution. A one week survey of patients on CPO was completed before and after the implementation of the CPO policy. CPO use and oxygen use were tracked prior to and after implementation of the policy.

Results:
The one week survey of general floor patients showed that prior to the policy implementation, 46% of CPO patients were on 2L NC or less oxygen (9 patients were stable and on room air with CPO) and after implementation 7% were on 2L NC or less oxygen (none were on room air with CPO). See the graphic for the trends of CPO days per oxygen days and CPO patients per oxygen patients.

Conclusions:
The implementation of an indication based policy for continuous pulse oximetry has reduced the use of continuous pulse oximetry on the general floors especially with patients on room air or low oxygen therapy. This reduction may reduce the number of false alarms that occur on the general floors and reduce clinical staff being diverted to troubleshoot those false alarms.

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