Mon Health to adopt plain language emergency alerts

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Morgantown, W.Va.-based Mon Health System will be one of the first healthcare organizations in the state to transition from emergency codes to plain language alerts Dec. 1.

Instead of alerting response teams to various events or emergencies via terminology like "code orange," the health system will use common, everyday language to describe the situation, such as "hazardous spill." A group of representatives from each of Mon Health's hospitals developed a standardized terminology to use systemwide, according to Maxine Cantis, the health system's risk manager.

By using plain language alerts, Mon Health said it hopes to reduce errors, increase transparency of safety events and protocols, and limit confusion for staff members who may work in more than one facility with different codes.

"Moving to plain language will increase situational awareness of events and reduce delays, which in turn will provide a better experience for our patients, visitors and employees," Ms. Cantis said in a Nov. 29 news release.

The change comes as more hospitals across the U.S. opt to adopt plain language alerts to simplify communication practices. 

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