Reducing Overuse of Telemetry

Rachel Rotramel, MSN, CCRN, RN


Am Nurs Journal. 2021;16(7) 

In This Article

Staff Education

Many nurses are unaware that AHA guidelines for appropriate telemetry use exist. Post the guidelines on a nursing communication board and place a link to the guidelines ( and related education tools on the organization's intranet.

Education about the guidelines can be particularly helpful for nurses caring for patients in areas that typically overuse telemetry, such as medical, surgical, and intermediate care units. Nurse educators can emphasize the most common nonessential (Class III) uses for telemetry, including stable atrial fibrillation, GI bleeding, hypoxia, and anemia. Telemetry commonly is used to monitor hemodynamic stability in non-cardiac patients, but it can't take the place of frequent assessment and vital sign measurements. Although more research is indicated for the general medical population, the data available demonstrate a low incidence (less than 2%) of clinically important arrythmias. Further discussion of specific patient populations and scenarios are outlined in the AHA guidelines.