October 14, 2021

Internal emergency code number is changing

As part of a Department of Health requirement, on 1 November 2021, Northern Hospital Epping, Broadmeadows Hospital, Bundoora Centre and Craigieburn Centre will be changing our internal Emergency Code phone number from 444 to the new number 2222.

Across Australia, 51 different phone numbers are used to initiate an in-hospital emergency code across different health services. It is widely acknowledged that having one in-hospital emergency number improves staff awareness and reduces the likelihood of a time delay. Standardising the in-hospital emergency number to 2222 across all Victorian hospitals will enhance recall and improve patient safety.

While Northern Health is transitioning on 1 November 2021, it is anticipated that all other health services will have transitioned by the end of 2021.

At Northern Health, 2222 will replace the existing internal emergency number for all codes currently managed by calling 444. There will be no changes to other sites who currently contact 000 such as Palliative Care at Heritage Epping Gardens.

“All Victorian hospitals are required to move to the new internal emergency code number 2222 by the end of 2021. For our staff that work across different health services, this change will mean that you will only have to remember one phone number regardless of what hospital you work at,” Jason Amos, Manager – Emergency Management explained.

“This consistent approach will ultimately result in a reduction in delay of emergency code notifications to our Emergency Response Teams,” he added.

The official Go-Live date of the new Emergency Code phone number is 1 November 2021. However, in August 2021, there was over 2,200 calls made to 444 at Northern Health – so, to ensure patient safety, as we become accustomed to the new 2222 number, the existing 444 number will remain operational for a minimum six month period ending May 2022.

During October, staff will see the new emergency code phone number promoted on the Intranet and screensavers, within staff areas such as nursing stations, office spaces, staff huddles, LMS training packages and organisational procedures. A resource package will also be available, for all managers, to provide the basic steps and resource material, including posters, stickers and checklists.

For further information, please click here or email Jason Amos, Manager – Emergency Management at jason.amos@nh.org.au.