Success Story: Mock Code Blue

Update:  Want to see this project in action?  Click here!

A Code Blue indicates a critical cardiac arrest is underway and requires immediate, expert responses from all involved in the patient’s care. When staff do not have the chance to practice and participate in Code Blue Team responses, their level of comfort decreases and patient care may not be optimal. Ideally, staff would be able to respond to a Code Blue in a simulated environment, to hone their skills and have opportunities to troubleshoot when lives are not on the line.

Though an informal Code Blue training has existed for years, Dr. Tina Webber, Emergency Physician, and her colleagues applied to the South Island Medical Staff Association for funding to support the establishment of a formal Mock Code Blue training program in Victoria. Part of this involved training several senior Emergency and Internal Medicine physicians in ACLS and Mock Code instruction, ensuring that there is an ongoing cadre of available physicians who can provide Mock Code oversight in future simulations. These initial resident leaders, along with nursing champions from critical care areas, established an annual roster of Mock Code locations throughout the Royal Jubilee Hospital.

Each of the monthly Mock Codes happened in a different ward, and involved nursing staff, an ACLS Instructor/Emergency physician, and family practice residents. Feedback was provided for the First Responder and Code Blue team on an immediate basis with a hot debrief structure. The responses of staff were evaluated by a pre-existing survey distributed at the end of the Mock Code. The project also involved developing a number of Code Blue scenarios in a repository to be used in future trainings, and which have been shared with other hospitals who wish to utilize them to establish their own Mock Code Blue program.

A well-functioning Code Blue team is one that has rapid assembly, high quality CPR, and effective code team leadership. It’s efficacy rests on an immediate response provided by front line health care providers. The establishment of a formal Mock Code Blue training program has provided our South Island staff the means to do just that and positively affect our patient care and outcomes.

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