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YNHHS medical code announcements change to “plain language”


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On March 2, all Yale New Haven Health hospitals converted medical code announcements to plain language to provide clear and consistent messages during medical emergencies.

Medical codes previously identified with a color now specify the emergency. For example, at Yale New Haven Hospital, a cardiac/respiratory arrest, “compromise of an adult” emergency was previously identified as a “code blue,” followed by the location. The new code states: “medical alert,” followed by “adult medical emergency” and location.

The change to plain language codes is based on national best practice and a recommendation from the Connecticut Hospital Association. Ultimately, these changes have been shown to reduce confusion and provide more accurate and actionable information to staff, patients and visitors.

YNHHS changed its security and facility alerts to plain language codes last year. These alerts begin with “facility alert” or “security alert,” followed by the type of alert and location.

Brochures listing new plain language medical codes for each delivery network may be ordered in bulk from YNHHS’ document center at no charge to departments. See your manager for ordering.