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Code Response Training: Improving Interprofessional Communication

  • Walsh, Heather1
  • Nicholson, Laura2
  • Patterson, Mary3
  • Zaveri, Pavan4
  • 1 Simulation Program Manager, Simulation Program, Children's National
  • 2 Simulation Education Specialist, Simulation Program, Children's National
  • 3 Associate Dean and Professor, Lou Oberndorf Professor in Healthcare Technology, Center for Experiential Learning and Simulation, Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Florida
  • 4 Medical Director, Simulation Program, Division of Emergency Medicine, Children's National
Published Article
MedEdPORTAL : the Journal of Teaching and Learning Resources
Association of American Medical Colleges
Publication Date
May 19, 2021
DOI: 10.15766/mep_2374-8265.11155
PMID: 34079907
PMCID: PMC8131416
PubMed Central
  • Original Publication


Introduction Using simulation to improve team performance in emergencies is commonplace. Decreasing codes hospital-wide can be challenging. To address these needs, hospital leaders requested a simulation program to provide team training across an institution focused on patient safety and communication techniques. Methods We developed a multimodal approach pairing three online modules on communication techniques with a simulation-based learning session. The three modules required 1 hour, followed by a 1-hour, in-person, simulation-based, interprofessional, small-group session of clinical staff. In ad hoc teams, participants managed two cases: a toddler with airway obstruction and a child developing septic shock. A focused debriefing included discussion of mental models, team formation and expertise, and communication techniques to create a common language to use in ad hoc team formation and patient care. Results Through more than 200 training sessions reaching over 1,400 staff members, we executed code response training. A nurse and physician facilitated each session, emphasizing the interprofessional nature needed for patient care. Participants rated the learning experience highly on a 5-point Likert scale (1 = low/poor , 5 = high/excellent ), with an average rating of 4.3 for achieving objectives and an average rating of 4.8 for facilitator effectiveness. Discussion Through engaging leadership and frontline clinicians, the simulation program provided code response training hospital-wide, emphasizing the importance of teamwork and communication in critical situations. Such hospital-wide training can emphasize a shared language to empower clinicians at all levels to deliver safe, quality patient care.

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