The idea for the award-winning BEAMS (Bedside Equipment Alarm Monitoring System) originally arose because of increases in the number of single rooms on the new wing at Sheffield Children’s Hospital. Matron Susan Ievers suggested identifying opportunities to integrate all the critical bedside monitoring systems to improve nurses’ ability to respond to alarms and positively increase the effect on staff morale (reports of nursing staff walking wards and corridors to monitor for alarms and inability to prioritise alarm responses are increasing daily).
Tutum Medical created a proof-of-concept device and then eight BEAMS devices that were trialled at Sheffield Children’s. During the trial, all nurses surveyed said it was a “benefit to the working of the ward.” Parents also reported feeling reassured. As one patient’s parent said: “Excellent idea. Saves me pressing the nurse call button when the alarms are going off. It also reassures me that when I am not here the alarms won’t go undetected.”
The successful acoustic monitoring BEAMS system has now been installed in 70 single occupancy rooms across six wards in the hospital, improves response times to critical equipment alarms and helps ensure alarms do not go unheard. BEAMS has reduced the number of alarms taking more than 2 minutes to respond to by 78%; more than 5 minutes by 88% and more than 10 minutes by 95%.
Paul Rawlinson, Managing Director of Tutum Medical Ltd said, “We were delighted and honoured when the hospital approached us and very proud to have developed such an effective and outstanding system. BEAMS is the world’s only bedside equipment critical alarm monitoring system and meets the challenge hospitals currently have of alarms going unheard through walls and closed doors, due to the increased number of single-bed patient rooms.‟ Paul continued, “Due to the success of the system at Sheffield Children’s we are now seeing other hospitals asking for trials which is really encouraging.‟
A failure to respond to critical bedside alarms, often due to alarm fatigue, can affect the patient in many ways, such as, not receiving the prescribed amount of medication, a deterioration in the patient’s health, serious injury and even death which can lead to major litigation costs for the hospital.
BEAMS devices listen for critical bedside alarms. When an alarm has been identified BEAMS notifies nurses which room and on which ward needs attention, together with the severity of the alarm that has been triggered. BEAMS is designed to send the notification via Wi-Fi to a nurse console display located at the nurse station, and to alarm speakers along the corridors. BEAMS creates its own Wi-Fi mesh network which removes the need to interface to hospital infrastructure.
Jeff Perring, Medical Director at Sheffield Children’s, said: “The BEAMS system improves patient care, which is a vital focus when patients are staying on our wards. The system is a great example of improving patient safety with innovation.”
Joanne Reid-Roberts, Matron for Medicine at Sheffield Children’s, said: “BEAMS gives us the assurance and support for both the nursing staff and families that their care and safety is a priority to us. Patients and parents will know that if an alarm is sounding their nurse will respond, particularly when they do not feel able to call the nurse themselves.”
The BEAMS system by Tutum Medical Ltd recently won the ‘Delivering Innovation in to Health and Care Award 2022’ at the Medilink Midlands Business Awards.