February 22, 2022

On 22/2/22, remember our emergency code number 2222

Today, on 22/2/22, it seems only fitting to remind staff of our new emergency code number – 2222. 

On 1 November 2021, Northern Health transitioned our internal code phone number from 444 to 2222 following the Department of Health requirement for Victorian health services to introduce the standardised 2222 phone number by the end of 2021.

The old in-hospital emergency number 444 has continued to run in parallel with 2222, to ensure no emergency calls are missed for the six months following the transition.

On 31 May this year, the old 444 phone number will be decommissioned and all calls will need to be made to 2222.

Elise Sutton, Resuscitation & Clinical Deterioration Coordinator, explained the benefits of a standardised emergency number.

“Prior to the rollout of the new emergency number 2222, there was no standardised number for activating emergency calls including Code Blues and Medical Emergency Team (MET) throughout different hospital organisations. Many of our staff work across different organisations and it can be difficult to recall the different emergency numbers at a time of high pressure and urgency. Alignment with other hospitals, not only state or country wide, but internationally, allows for a decreased risk of dialling the incorrect number, thus decreasing the risk of delay in escalation and response of the clinical emergency,” Elise explained.

The Emergency Management team undertake monthly audits of phone calls made to 444 to identify areas where additional support and education is required to assist with the transition to the new 2222 emergency number.

There was a downward trend in the numbers of calls being made to 444 in the first three months since the transition, however, in January 2022, approximately 10 per cent of calls to the emergency code phone originated from 444 rather than 2222.

“A delay in defibrillation of more than two minutes is associated with poorer outcomes for patient survival in the event of cardiac arrest, so it is imperative that an emergency call is activated in a timely manner. With the decommissioning of the old emergency number nearing closer, it is important staff are aware and utilise the new correct 2222 number for emergency calls to ensure timely activation and response by the MET to guarantee safety and the best possible outcome for our patients,” Elise said.

If you would like additional resources for your work area to advertise the new 2222 number, please contact jason.amos@nh.org.au to discuss further.

Featured Image (left to right): Elise Sutton, Resuscitation & Clinical Deterioration Coordinator with Jason Amos, Manager – Emergency Management