HealthDay News – An off-site central monitoring unit (CMU) applying standardized cardiac telemetry is associated with detection and notification of cardiac rhythm and rate changes before emergency response team (ERT) activation, according to a study published in the August 2 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Daniel J. Cantillon, MD, from the Cleveland Clinic, and colleagues examined outcomes associated with an off-site CMU applying standardized cardiac telemetry indications using electronic order entry. The CMU received electronic telemetry orders for 99 048 patients and provided 410 534 notifications among 61 nursing units.

Researchers found that ERT activation occurred among 3243 patients, including 30% with rhythm/rate changes occurring 1 hour or less before ERT activation. For 79% of those events, the CMU detected and provided accurate notification. For 105 patients, the CMU provided discretionary direct ERT notification, including advance warning of 26% of cardiopulmonary arrest events, for which return of circulation was achieved for 93% of patients.

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“Among non-critically ill patients, use of standardized cardiac telemetry with an off-site central monitoring unit was associated with detection and notification of cardiac rhythm and rate changes within 1 hour prior to the majority of ERT activations, and also with a reduction in the census of monitored patients, without an increase in cardiopulmonary arrest events,” the authors wrote.


Cantillon DJ, Loy M, Burkle A, et al. Association between off-site central monitoring using standardized cardiac telemetry and clinical outcomes among non-critically ill patients. JAMA. 2016;316(5):519-524. doi: 10.1001/jama.2016.10258.