Using simulation to orient code blue teams to a new hospital facility

Simul Healthc. Winter 2008;3(4):209-16. doi: 10.1097/SIH.0b013e31818187f3.


Objectives: Prompt and successful cardiopulmonary resuscitation during a sudden cardiac arrest can be hindered by multiple variables, ie, ineffective communication, stress, lack of training, and an unfamiliar environment, such as a new hospital facility. The main objective of the study was to use high-fidelity simulations to orient Code Blue Teams (CBTs) to critical events in a new hospital facility. A secondary objective was to elucidate factors that may have contributed to responses by debriefing teams.

Methods: Mock Code Blue exercises using high-fidelity simulation were implemented in real workplace settings to orient CBTs to critical events. We measured arrival time of first responder, crash cart to code site, first six CBT responders, first chest compression, and first electrical shock. After each mock code, participants were debriefed to assess any barriers to effective response and decision making.

Results: Twelve mock codes were conducted at different locations of the new facility. Sixty-nine percent of the participants reported that the training was beneficial. The median time of arrival of the first responders was 42 seconds and the first CBT member was 66 seconds. The median time to initiation of chest compressions was 80 seconds, crash cart arrival was 68 seconds, and first electrical shock was 341 seconds. An additional outcome of the study was the identification of facility and systems issues that had the potential to impact patient safety.

Conclusions: Clinical simulation can be effectively used to orient CBTs and identify critical safety issues in a newly constructed healthcare facility.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation / education*
  • Efficiency
  • Efficiency, Organizational
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / organization & administration*
  • Heart Arrest*
  • Humans
  • Manikins*
  • Patient Care Team*
  • Patient Simulation*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Prospective Studies
  • Texas
  • Time Factors