Learnability and discriminability of melodic medical equipment alarms
Sanderson, P.M., Wee, A., & Lacherez, P. (2006) Learnability and discriminability of melodic medical equipment alarms. Anaesthesia, 61(2), pp. 142-147.
Melodic alarms proposed in the IEC 60601-1-8 standard for medical electrical equipment were tested for learnability and discriminability. Thirty-three non-anaesthetist participants learned the alarms over two sessions of practice, with or without mnemonics suggested in the standard. Fewer than 30% of participants could identify the alarms with 100% accuracy at the end of practice. Confusions persisted between pairs of alarms, especially if mnemonics were used during learning (p = 0.011). Participants responded faster (p < 0.00001) and more accurately (p = 0.002) to medium priority alarms than to high priority alarms, even though they rated the high priority alarms as sounding more urgent (p < 0.00001). Participants with at least 1 year of formal musical training identified the alarms more accurately (p = 0.0002) than musically untrained participants, and found the task easier overall (p < 0.00001). More intensive studies of the IEC 60601-1-8 alarms are needed for their effectiveness to be determined.
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|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Divisions:||Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation|
|Deposited On:||20 Mar 2012 08:34|
|Last Modified:||20 Mar 2012 08:34|
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