“Imagine” by John Lennon: Can it help us in healthcare today?

Authored by: Peggy Pilon, BSN, MS, RN

John Lennon’s “Imagine” was released in 1971, and has since become one the the most iconic songs of all time. For over half a century, “Imagine” has been the anthem for worldwide peace and unity. The message was still relevant in 2005 when the song was re-released as the title track of Lennon’s solo album. “Imagine” called listeners at the time to . . . “Imagine a world where there are no countries,” and a world where we could all live in peace, despite our differences.  At the time of release, peace and unity were revolutionary concepts, considering the U.S. was in the height of the Vietnam War. John Lennon wrote about things that were unimaginable for many Americans, and clearly not ideas anyone was even hoping for in 1971. Lennon’s “Imagine” thus invites us to envision a simpler world, one where we can all live in peace.

Why is this important for healthcare in 2023? Today, there are so many stressors at the bedside for clinicians. Bedside nurses are bombarded with alarms, EMR alerts, and constant interruptions. We get stuck in a world where we continue to try and problem solve the way we did in the past; by requesting more staff nurses. Werner Erhart described insanity as “repeating identical behavior and expecting a different result.” This is especially poignant since the literature has been forecasting a nursing shortage for the 2020’s since the 1990’s, due to the aging baby boomers. Combine this with the burnout generated from the COVID pandemic, plus the “Great Resignation,” and we can no longer be naive enough to hope for more nurses to solve the stressful bedside environment. So, the time is now to “stop the insanity.”

Isn’t it time that we look elsewhere for innovative solutions to address nurse burnout? What if we took a page from John Lennon? What if we let ourselves dream of more creative solutions? Isn’t it time that we let ourselves imagine an acute care unit that was less noisy, with alarms that only alerted the bedside nurse when the patient actually required RN assessment and care? Can we be so bold as to imagine, in 2023, a Critical Care Unit that is quieter and less stressful…a place where a bedside nurse can hear herself/himself think? 

Enter the innovative technology of CalmWave.

At CalmWave, we know that there is an overwhelming abundance of alarms disrupting ICUs. Unfortunately we also know that 80-95% of all alarms bedside nurses experience every shift are non-actionable. Using CalmWave’s innovative software, we can identify trends and recommend appropriate alarm thresholds that keep RNs working at the top of their licenses and not tied up with meaningless, non-actionable monitor alarms. Quieter means less stress which makes clinicians’ work environments more manageable. Come join us on our mission to make it better…and make it quieter…one ICU at a time.  Let yourselves “Imagine” a better ICU. Bedside nurses deserve it.

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