The Johns Hopkins Hospital Wins ECRI Institute's 2012 Health Devices Achievement Award

Oct 17, 2012, 16:01 ET from ECRI Institute

Alarm management initiative is recognized for excellence in health technology management and patient safety; 5 other facilities named as finalists

PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa., Oct. 17, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- ECRI Institute® (, an independent nonprofit that researches the best approaches to improving patient care, is pleased to announce The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD, as the winner of its 7th Annual Health Devices Achievement Award. The award recognizes an outstanding initiative undertaken by an ECRI Institute member healthcare institution that improves patient safety, reduces costs, or otherwise facilitates better strategic management of health technology. Johns Hopkins is being recognized for its exemplary efforts in reducing hazardous situations and adverse events related to alarm systems.


"We are honored to receive this recognition from ECRI Institute," said Maria Cvach, RN, assistant director of nursing, clinical standards, The Johns Hopkins Hospital. "We're really pleased to be recognized for the work our team has done over the past six years to improve the management of physiological monitor alarms. These efforts have dramatically reduced the number of clinically insignificant alarms and we've created a safer and quieter environment for patients and their care providers," Cvach said. "We hope that the model we've developed will serve as a guide for others seeking similar solutions."

The award-winning interdisciplinary alarm management committee, chaired by Cvach, Dr. Adam Sapirstein, chair of the critical care committee, and Andrew Currie, Johns Hopkins director of clinical engineering, analyzed alarm data to gain an understanding of the type, frequency, and duration of alarms and then applied multiple small tests of changes to alarm settings. By making modest changes to default parameter settings, along with standardizing care and equipment and providing reliable ancillary alarm notification, the team was able to significantly reduce the number of clinically insignificant alarms. Johns Hopkins attributes its success to the strong support from the alarm committee members who champion the alarm safety effort at the bedside.

"We congratulate The Johns Hopkins Hospital for tackling one of the most critical issues in patient safety today," said ECRI Institute's James Keller, Jr., MS, vice president, health technology evaluation and safety. "Johns Hopkins has set an excellent example for how a methodical and carefully analyzed research process can be applied to Alarm Management and result in a significant improvement in patient care. This project has created an excellent roadmap for other healthcare organizations working to improve safety with clinical alarms." 

A formal award presentation will be made at The Johns Hopkins Hospital on October 25, 2012. A complete description of Johns Hopkins' award-winning Alarm Management Initiative will be featured in an upcoming edition of ECRI Institute's Health Devices journal and on the ECRI Institute website. Descriptions of the five finalists' initiatives will be featured as well.

Finalists for the 2012 Health Devices Achievement Award (listed alphabetically), and their winning submissions were: 

  • Fletcher Allen Healthcare:  Integration of the Cardiology Lifecycle for Patients
  • Kaiser Permanente:  Leveraging an Integrated Healthcare System to Improve Quality of Care by Reducing Catheter Associated Urinary Tract Infections
  • Memorial Sloane Kettering:  Integration of RFID System with Infusion Pumps
  • University of Pennsylvania:  The MyHeartMap Challenge: a social media, mobile media, health technology initiative
  • West Penn Allegheny Health System:  Impact of an electronic hand hygiene feedback device on improving rates of hand hygiene compliance  

To learn more about this year's Health Devices Achievement Award winner and finalists, visit ECRI Institute will soon be accepting submissions for the 8th Annual Health Devices Award for 2013.

For more information about submitting an application, or about becoming a member of ECRI Institute's Health Devices System or Health Devices Gold medical technology procurement and management programs, contact ECRI Institute at (610) 825-6000 ext. 5891, visit, e-mail mail ECRI Institute, 5200 Butler Pike, Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462-1298, USA.

About ECRI Institute
ECRI Institute (, a nonprofit organization, dedicates itself to bringing the discipline of applied scientific research to healthcare to discover which medical procedures, devices, drugs, and processes are best to enable improved patient care. As pioneers in this science for nearly 45 years, ECRI Institute marries experience and independence with the objectivity of evidence-based research. Strict conflict-of-interest guidelines ensure objectivity. ECRI Institute is designated an Evidence-based Practice Center by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. ECRI Institute PSO is listed as a federally certified Patient Safety Organization by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Find ECRI Institute on Facebook ( and on Twitter (