In our previous post, we began looking at the issue of auditory masking in the context of medical device alarms. As we noted, auditory masking can make it difficult, if not impossible, for health care providers in emergency room and surgical settings to do their job and to appropriately respond to critical situations that arise in the provision of care.
For most health care institutions, it is impractical to do the physical testing necessary to determine whether auditory masking will occur between devices. This makes it easier for medical institutions and providers to shun responsibility for addressing the risk and to put their patients at risk of harm. New research, however, shows that there may be an effective way to determine in advance the possibility of auditory masking.