How Not to be Left in the Dark During a Code Grey

How Not to be Left in the Dark During a Code Grey

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Code Grey

Hospitals, among all healthcare institutions, tend to have some of the most demanding emergencies. Among those emergencies is the loss of core services for the hospital such as power, water, or air circulation issues. In most hospitals in Canada, this is called a code grey. During a code grey, manual processes take up a lot of time that could be better spent on managing patients, staff, and family members during such a stressful event. Therefore hospitals around the world are focusing more and more on strengthening their emergency management options. In the 21st century, it is only natural that hospitals will be looking for digital engagement and communication technology to power up their code grey response systems.

Digital code grey response systems are not a new idea. The days are long gone when hospital administrations manually informed everyone about critical situations. In the age of digital enhancement, hospital administrations can handle nearly all emergency situations through automated solutions. Every day, more solutions are being innovated to ensure hospitals’ code grey response systems work optimally because often it can be a matter life and death.

Code grey response automation is one of these groundbreaking solutions.

This solution deals with one of the most critical situations hospitals can face: loss of core services that affect patients. Hospitals always make sure that backups are available if any situation escalates and, in many cases, backups of backups are also kept ready just in case! These backups and contingencies, unfortunately, often don’t account for things like total power or heating failure and relocating patients if these issues are expected to be long-term. Situations like the recent shipping problems caused by COVID-19 could be an example of this. If the hospital’s furnace requires a part that has to be shipped from abroad and something has disrupted shipping, strategies must be formed that will account for that.

With an automated alert system, hospital emergency administrations can send automated messages to all staff at once. Staff can respond to code grey messages if they are available to come into work or launch inquiries to other hospitals about bed space when necessary. In this way, emergency managers can assemble teams of additional resources in the shortest amount of time possible, while also making sure that resource mobilization is highly optimized.

Sounds a bit complicated, doesn’t it? Here is an example to make it more straightforward:

Hospital ABC has a skilled team of doctors, surgeons, nurses, technicians, and paramedics to handle any type of incident. In the early hours of the morning, the furnace cuts out. The initial code grey message goes out, and nurses busily attend to patients, making sure that they have blankets and other important resources. An hour later, they get the word that heating will be down for an extended period. This could cause issues for patients and staff alike, so a survey is sent out to assess other hospitals for resources and space for patients. This could be done via phone calls and long meetings where hospitals discuss their ideal scenario.

Or they could use an automated code grey alerting solution to send emergency code grey messages to all the off-site staff and other hospitals and allow them to respond immediately?

Certainly, the second option is the most viable because it saves time, makes the code grey alert process more efficient, and helps emergency managers to optimally mobilize resources and assemble a team of skilled professionals in the shortest possible time.

How to Set Up a Hospital Staff Alert Solution

Well, the most critical steps of setting up an automated, digital code grey alert solution are having a strategy, figuring out the set of tasks needed to build the alert process, and finally, finding out the right digital tools to build the perfect code grey alert process. It is a big job, since it involves a lot of technical labor and skills.

Fortunately, hospitals do not have to build this solution from scratch.

SimplyCast anticipated the growing need for an automated alert solution and built a ready-to-go code grey alert system that can be customized for every single hospital.

All you need to do is to follow these basic steps to get your code grey alert solution ready:

Step 1: Central Staff Contact Registry

A central staff registry is a collection of all hospital staff information stored in a single database, connected to all your communication tools. Hospitals need to make sure every single staff member’s information is in the system, such as their name, contact information, job title, skills, certifications, etc.

Accurately building a central staff contact registry is important because when you are sending code grey alert messages to a specific group of staff, the system will use the information from this registry to correctly address and inform them.

Step 2: Crisis Alerts

Building alerts based on possible service failures is the wisest course of action once your staff registry is complete. They can be constructed in advance and structured in a way that a single button press can launch the right alert to the right people at any given time.

For instance, users can create an alert message for technical support staff that work with heating, power, or cooling. Having these templated messages ready is so useful because in the case of a code grey, hospital administration staff do not need to spend time writing out a message. They can simply find the right pre-built alert campaign and launch it (after making slight changes if needed).

Step 3: Multi-channel Options

This is also an important step to complete because in case of severe situations, hospital emergency managers can choose to send code grey alert messages via multiple communication channels. For instance, they can send messages to staff via SMS, email, and voice messages. Some staff may have preferences when it comes to communication. The preferred-channel option allows emergency managers to send messages automatically using the method that is most likely to get their attention..

Step 4: Live Survey

Once your staff members are aware of the situation and have begun tending to it, shortages in supplies may arise or you may find out that the situation will be longer-term and need to find a place for patients that require certain services for quality of life. Another button press can trigger live surveys designed to contact all other hospitals in the area and asses if there are resources available that you can leverage to manage the code grey.

Step 5: Reports and Metrics

Finally, it’s important for the hospital code grey team to understand how an alert campaign is going. Using SimplyCast’s automated solution, they can see the number of personnel responding in real time. They can also view detailed reports of each campaign including the total alert time, individual staff group response times, and other metrics. These insights can be used to help the team see any areas where resources may be lacking and whether another alert needs to be launched.

Why SimplyCast?

So, there it is! You have a complete, digital engagement-powered code grey alert solution.

As mentioned before, it is completely customizable technology so you can tweak the solution to meet your hospital’s specific requirements. We have used our in-house
Alerts and incorporated our SMS, Email, Voice Broadcasting, and CRM software to build this solution.

Don’t worry about scalability and security! SimplyCast is an ISO 27001:2013-certified company with data centers in the USA and Canada. This means we can assure you that your medical data is safe on our secure server and the messages you transmit are completely encrypted. Our platform has the capacity of sending nearly 100,000+ messages every hour and allows 10,000+ concurrent sessions. We can also get additional gateways and servers if you need.

Most importantly, we have an astounding 99.5% minimum uptime. With our emergency code grey alert solution, you can have peace of mind.


Don’t wait! Our experts are ready to give you a one-on-one demo to explain how this solution works.

Simply request a demo by clicking the button below and let us show you how our solution can help you manage your code grey alert system more efficiently.

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