2222 – Our new emergency code number
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 2222 phone number by the end of 2021.
Since the transition, the previous in-hospital emergency number (444) has continued to run in parallel with 2222, to ensure no emergency calls are missed. However, from 1 June 2022, the old number 444 will no longer be in use and all emergency calls will need to be made to 2222.
“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,” explained Jason Amos, Manager – Emergency Management.
“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.”
The Emergency Management Team undertakes 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.
Audits of calls between November 2021 – March 2022 identified a continuous downward trend in the number of calls being made to 444.
Between November 2021 and March 2022, Northern Health averaged between 2,000 and 2,500 calls a month to the emergency code phone. In November last year, 21 per cent of those calls were still being made to 444, however, this rate reduced to approximately five per cent in March.
From 1 June 2022, staff who accidentally call 444 instead of 2222 will be greeted with a recording advising them that 444 is no longer active and 2222 must be called. Calls to 444, while irregular, will lead to a short delay in initiating emergency code response.
All internal phones should have a new 2222 sticker on them, however, if you notice a phone in your area doesn’t have the new sticker, they can be ordered by contacting Jason.Amos@nh.org.au.
Featured Image: Teneille, Emergency Department ANUM with Jason Amos.