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Daily Electrode Change and Effect on Cardiac Monitor Alarms: An Evidence-Based Practice Approach

Cvach, Maria M. MSN, RN, CCRN; Biggs, Madalyn BSN, RN, PCCN; Rothwell, Kathleen J. MSN, RN; Charles-Hudson, Charmaine MSN, RN, CNRN

doi: 10.1097/NCQ.0b013e31827993bc

Frequent monitor alarms are distracting and interfere with clinicians performing critical tasks. This article describes a quality improvement rapid-cycle change approach to explore the benefits of changing electrodes daily on the number of cardiac monitor alarms. Eight days of baseline and intervention data were compared for 2 adult acute care units. Average alarms per bed per day were reduced by 46% on both units. Daily electrocardiogram electrode change reduces the number of cardiac monitor alarms.

The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland.

Correspondence: Maria M. Cvach, MSN, RN, CCRN, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, 600 N Wolfe St, Baltimore, MD 21287 (

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Accepted for publication: October 16, 2012

Published online before print: November 21, 2012

© 2013 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins