The diversity of emergency code telephone numbers in Australian hospitals: the feasibility of an Australian standard emergency code
journal contributionposted on 2007-11-01, 00:00 authored by G Williams, Trish LivingstonTrish Livingston
This study explored the diversity of emergency code telephone numbers currently in use in Australian hospitals and examined the feasibility of a standard emergency code telephone number for all Australian hospitals, based on the United Kingdom experience. An email and telephone convenience survey of Australian hospitals from six states and two territories was conducted. Of the 108 hospitals surveyed, seven did not use a telephone number system and used a button/ pager system to call an emergency. Of the 101 hospitals surveyed that used a telephone number system, 40 different emergency telephone numbers were in place, and in nine hospitals the telephone number used for Code Blue (medical emergency) was different to the telephone number used for other emergency codes. With increasing mobility of staff across hospitals, uniformity of emergency code telephone numbers is required to reduce confusion, potential danger and improve staff response in emergency situations. A single Australian standard emergency telephone number for all Australian hospitals is advocated.