August 24, 2021

✪ De-implementing and sustaining an intervention to eliminate nursing home resident bed and chair alarms: Interviews on leadership and staff perspectives


Christine W. Hartmann, Christopher Gillespie, George G. Sayre, & A. Lynn Snow

University of Washington affiliated authors are displayed in bold.

✪ Open Access

Published: August 2021

Read the full text in the open access journal Implementation Science Communications



Improving nursing home quality of care relies partly on reducing or stopping ineffective or harmful practices, a process known as de-implementation. We know little about de-implementation in this setting. Relatively recent policy changes reclassified resident position-change (bed and chair) alarms, which monitor resident movement, as restraints. This created an optimal environment in which to study impressions of an alarm de-implementation and sustainment intervention.


This cross-sectional interview study focused on understanding participants’ experience of a quality improvement program in the Department of Veterans Affairs Community Living Centers (nursing homes). The program’s goal was to improve resident outcomes and staff communication and teamwork through, among other foci, eliminating resident position-change alarms. The Community Living Centers were located in geographically dispersed areas of the continental United States. Interview participants were leadership and staff members from seven Community Living Centers. We conducted in-depth, semi-structured qualitative interviews using a convenience sample and used a thematic analytic approach.


We conducted seventeen interviews. We identified five main themes: Initiating De-implementation (compelling participants with evidence, engaging local leadership, and site-level education and training), Changing Expectations (educating staff and family members), Using Contrasting Approaches (gradual or abrupt elimination of alarms), Witnessing Positive Effects of De-implementation (reduction in resident falls, improved resident sleep, reduction in distressing behaviors, and increased resident engagement), and Staying the Course (sustainment of the initiative).


Findings highlight how participants overcame barriers and successfully eliminated resident position-change alarms and sustained the de-implementation through using convincing evidence for the initiative, local leadership involvement and support, and staff and family member education and engagement. These findings and the resulting three-phase process to support nursing homes' de-implementation efforts expand the de-implementation science knowledge base and provide a promising framework for other nursing home-based de-implementation initiatives.

**This abstract is posted with permission under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License**