An Honest-to-Goodness Alert Code System: A Prerequisite for an Effective Response to Surge of Patients Emergencies – AHMA Entry – Information Set 3
Posted on June 7, 2012
An Honest-to-Goodness Alert Code System: A Prerequisite for an Effective Response to Surge of Patients Emergencies
Date Project Started: 01/08/2012
3. Please explain how the project reduced costs of or what other benefits were derived? Is it simple yet effective, something other departments can also adopt or adapt? Were appropriate analysis tools used or was it only a matter of throwing money at the problem? MAX 200 WORDS.
The key success indicators of an effective code alert system consist of having enough manpower and supplies to handle anticipated surge of patients. Having enough manpower is more challenging.
The critical success factors for enough manpower are adequacy and timely response of staff on stand-by outside the hospital. The strategies OMSurg used consisted of an initial formulation of policies and procedures; education of ALL staff (consultants, residents, and interns); formulation of a structured closed-loop communication system to ensure full effective alertness and readiness of ALL staff to respond to surge of patients (most critical –see below); exercises; evaluations of drills and after actual activations with continual improvements.
The primary communication device used was the cellphone as this was readily available and enabled documentation of all activities that would transpire which in turn facilitated evaluation, particularly, on activation and deactivation messages, responses and whereabout messages of staff. Templates for text messages were used. The average cellphone expenses for each code activation amounted only to P550. With more than 91% response rate at a cost of of P550, this structured closed communication system is simple yet cost-effective and can easily be adopted by other departments in OMMC as well as other hospitals.
Communication Expenses Using Cellphones
16 residents + 22 consultants + 22 interns = Total of 60 staff
Texting from Communication Officer under Incident Command: average of 5 messages per activation (activation notice, reminder, update, deactivation)
60 x 5 = 300 x P1 / SMS = P300
Texting from staff of stand-by: average of 4 messages per activation (acknowledgements, whereabouts)
60 x 4 = 240 x P1 / SMS = P240
Grand total = P540 per code activation
Note: about 50% have Sun cellular phones in which Sun – to – Sun texts are free.