Having the technology you need to accurately and efficiently respond to and document coded events is crucial to the integrity of your healthcare facility. Learn how to leverage cutting-edge solutions to improve Code Blue tracking in this article.
Caring for patients is a taxing and demanding job, especially as medical emergencies such as Code Blues are common occurrences. Care teams must be prepared to jump into action when hospital emergencies occur and be ready to properly administer life-saving care – and document that care – at a moment’s notice. So how can these processes be made more accurate and efficient? In this article, learn the basics of Code Blue response, and how the proper tools and technology are a critical part of documenting an emergency.
How to Run a Code Blue
A patient enters into cardiac arrest in room 427, and you need help. You signal a “Code Blue” alert for a medical emergency over the hospital loudspeaker and activate an elapsed timer to track the incident.
To bring organization to what is often a chaotic and extremely fast-paced Code Blue response by the care team, hospitals are required to maintain an emergency management plan and leverage mass notification tools like Primex OneVue Notify InfoBoard to quickly disperse information about disasters or medical emergencies. Use of the Hospital Incident Command System (HICS) standardizes the terminologies used during an emergency and helps to improve a hospital’s response and coordination to emergency situations. With the hospital incident command system, staff have defined responsibilities and roles, thereby ensuring that the right staff are in the right place at the right time.
These protocols, combined with data from the elapsed timer, are crucial to allowing the care team to respond appropriately and administer the correct treatment. For example, if too much time has passed since the Code Blue was first signaled, the care team may be unable to stabilize the patient or prevent brain damage or death. Not only is an easily visible elapsed timer crucial for healthcare staff, but they are also a critical part of documenting when treatments such as epinephrine doses and pulse checks were preformed, and that every attempt to save a patient was made in a timely manner.
Without this data — or by leveraging data from unsynchronized clocks and even wrist watches —healthcare facilities can risk falling out of compliance with industry standards and potentially open themselves up to malpractice suits.
The Role of Technology in Improving Code Blue Response
It is understood that elapsed timers are crucial to Code Blue responses. It is also important, however, to acknowledge that not all elapsed timers are created equal. For example, an elapsed timer that does not “wake up” immediately or that runs slightly slow (or slightly fast) could greatly impact patient care, leading the team to make mistakes that they would not otherwise. This is why leveraging a reliable system like the Primex Elapsed Timer-Levo Series is crucial. These timers can count up or count down to a maximum of 99 hours, 59 minutes and 59 seconds, as needed, and can be synched with all other clocks on the Primex Sync wireless system via a Bluetooth bridge to ensure time is standardized across your entire facility.
Solutions to Document, Track and Comply
Incident-related documentation is key to adhering to compliance guidelines and tracking hospital emergencies. Job action sheets and general messaging forms should be used to share information about the emergency. Reporting this important information is standard practice and must be completed to adhere to specific state, local and national guidelines. Hospitals also must comply and keep records of a hospital’s Incident Action Plans and other emergency management forms so that they are available down the road. In some instances, hospitals may be required to submit these action and emergency forms to local and state emergency operation centers, depending on the emergency code enacted.
The OneVue Monitor is the ultimate hospital Code Blue tracking solution for healthcare facilities. With this solution, hospital staff can reduce the amount of manual hours spent logging emergency events. The solution archives comprehensive monitoring data and reports so that you have them on hand when you need them to demonstrate compliance to regulatory bodies such as the CDC, FDA, the Joint Commission and others.
The OneVue system allows you to pre-program event codes, and log event responses, giving you the automated information you need during audits. Elapsed timers, crash cart kits and Notify solutions from Primex help your hospital stay connected, alert and prepared for the unexpected.