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Published on August 24, 2015

Cone Health Moves to Easy to Understand Alerts

The change should make it easier for hospital visitors to take action in an emergency.

People often hear them in hospitals, “There is a Code Red in room 429,” or “There is a Code Yellow on the loading dock.” Hospital staff quickly responds, but most people have no idea what the codes mean. Cone Health thinks visitors should. Code Health has replaced most of its codes with plain language alerts.


“This is about keeping our visitors and staff safe,” says Cone Health Emergency Management Coordinator Scott Supernaw. “For example, announcing that we have a tornado warning will tell the visitors what to do. People will use common sense to respond as they may need to in a given situation.”


The change to plain language alerts has been recommended by the North Carolina Hospital Association. The eventual use of plain language alerts in all hospitals should:


·       Increase the safety of visitors and staff by making alerts transparent and easy to understand.

·       Avoid confusion among staff by making alerts uniform in other hospitals where they may work.

·       Reduce the number of overhead alerts in hospitals.


Cone Health hospitals making this change are Alamance Regional Medical Center, Annie Penn Hospital, Cone Health Behavioral Health Hospital, Moses Cone Hospital, Wesley Long Hospital and Women’s Hospital.

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