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Mon Health System Moves to Plain Language Alerts

Posted Date: 11/29/2021
Starting on December 1, 2021, Mon Health System will be transitioning from Emergency Codes to Plain Language Alerts in overhead pages at each Mon Health facility. Mon Health will be among the first health systems in the state to move to plain language.

Currently, Mon Health utilizes “code” terminology to convey events, emergencies, and communicate to response teams that help is needed. Plain language states what the event actually is in common terms and everyday language. An example of this would be saying “Hazardous Spill” instead of “Code Orange”.

More hospitals across the United States, with the support of several state hospital associations, have moved to plain language alerts for ease of communication and understanding. Several federal agencies and national associations support plain language.

“A Mon Health System collaborative of representatives at each hospital met to evaluate best practice and develop standardized terminology,” said Maxine Cantis, Risk Manager for Mon Health System. “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.”

The intent of using plain language alerts is to:
• Promote the safety of patients, visitors, physicians, and hospital staff;
• Reduce errors;
• Increase transparency of communications and safety protocols;
• Align with national safety recommendations;
• Reduce confusion for staff or physicians who work in more than one facility with different codes.
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