Skip to main content

Auditory Alarms in Critical Care Settings

Auditory alarms from patient monitoring equipment pervade critical care settings. They are intended to safeguard the patient by signaling potentially dangerous conditions. However, because of poor acoustic profiles and due to high false alarm rates, the clinical value of such auditory alarms is questionable. We have undertaken a series of studies to examine the problems associated with auditory alarms in these settings. The research used mobile eye-tracking methods to collect data in the operating room and Anesthesia Simulator.

The web pages contained here outline the work done by the members of the Human Factors Research Program (HFRP) lab who are the principal investigators and their collaborators. The work is divided into major projects, which are described briefly along with representative publications. There is a more comprehensive list of alarm publications associated directly with the HFRP researchers' work on alarms, and also a general list of assorted research on alarms, contained in an alarm bibliography.

The research effort described here have received research support from numerous institutions through grants, equipment and access to facilities.