Affinity Health System and ThedaCare Convert to Clear Text Emergency Alerting System

Affinity and ThedaCare hospitals switch over from color code alert system to clear-text codes

Affinity Health System and ThedaCare have replaced their current color code emergency alert system with a clear text code system. The meaning of the color codes, which currently stand for emergency alerts such as severe weather, hazardous spills or security alerts, will now be verbalized in clear language.

The initiative was recommended by Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA) to provide uniformity in Wisconsin hospital emergency codes. It began as an issue of patient safety being jeopardized by hospital staff confused on the meaning of a color code alert. The new clear text system provides employees with the exact type of emergency happening, eliminating the guesswork of the alert meaning by staff and providing quicker response time to the problem.

“The implementation of this new paging system is meant to remove potential error that may occur through use of the color code system,” said Deb Cross, director of NurseDirect, emergency management, CCC and Lifespan. “This system will also benefit community members in the hospital because they will be able to fully understand any emergency alert they hear.”

“Implementing this system has increased awareness at all hospitals, which take the mystery out of what is needed to do during an emergency,” said Matt Digman, environmental safety officer with ThedaCare. “Staff who work in several health care systems now have the same process in all hospitals.”

All hospitals emergency processes will remain the same.