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situational awareness

Both the Institute of Medicine and The Joint Commission recommend that healthcare organizations model their care strategies after those of high-reliability industries such as aviation, nuclear facilities and military operations. One of those strategies is situational awareness, a concept that means you have a clear understanding of what’s going on around you and how to use that information to mitigate risk. While situational awareness is still not a commonly used term in the healthcare industry, it is gaining traction as more clinicians and industry leaders understand the link between awareness and clinical decision-making.

Simply put, situational awareness is knowing what’s going on around you. According to American Nurse Today, the journal of the American Nurses Association (ANA), a lack of situational awareness is often noted as the cause of medical errors, poor clinical performance and poor patient outcomes. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality agrees, stating that “situational awareness in a patient’s room can undoubtedly improve the quality and safety of care delivered.”

Mica Endsley, Ph.D., former chief scientist for the U.S. Air Force, is one of the leading voices on situational awareness. She divides situational awareness into three stages. These three levels help hospitals be more proactive, rather than reactive, when unexpected events or emergencies occur.

Level One—Perception: Clinicians perceive information by examining patients, reading medical charts, reviewing data collected at the bedside and talking with other team members.

Level Two—Comprehension: Clinicians take the data they perceive and analyze that information, working to understand it and form decisions about what’s going on around them.

Level Three—Projection: Based on the information that has been perceived and analyzed, clinicians should be able to predict events that may occur.

Go on any hospital floor and observe: Clinicians are constantly faced with situations that require quick, on-their-feet thinking. Helping your clinicians achieve situational awareness is critical to improving patient outcomes, reducing medical errors and driving better patient satisfaction.

Let Amplion help. With point-of-care solutions like the Amplion Care Assurance platform, nurses and bedside caregivers have the tools they need to achieve situational awareness. The Amplion Care Assurance platform combines advanced nurse call capabilities, alarm management software, and care collaboration tools, in a single platform, making Amplion uniquely qualified to help hospitals achieve situational awareness.

Ready to learn more? See how Amplion can help improve your hospital’s situational awareness and create better patient outcomes by scheduling a 15 minute demo today. Click here for more information.

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