Attention Please: Hospital Alerts Moving to Plain Language

SCHA is working to help hospitals eliminate confusion around emergency alerts.

Emergency codes used to notify staff in a healthcare facility about an event requiring immediate action varies significantly from facility to facility. This may lead to confusion and a delay in response, as well as uncertainty for staff members that work in more than one facility. 


As a result, South Carolina hospitals have expressed a need for more guidance on how to implement standardized, plain language emergency alerts. Standardized, plain language emergency alerts are just as they sound: alerts phrased in a manner that can be understood by all individuals in a hospital—even patients and visitors. SCHA has willingly taken the lead on this initiative at the request of our member hospitals.


This effort mirrors that of 25 hospital associations across the nation that have already endorsed and encouraged the use of standardized, plain language emergency codes. The use and implementation of these plain language alerts have been reviewed and endorsed by multiple groups at SCHA, including the SCHA Board of Trustees and SC Emergency Managers.


The Standardized Plain Language Emergency Alerts Toolkit is now available on our website for SCHA members to use in implementing plain language emergency codes. If you are interested in having SCHA staff visit your hospital to discuss the use of Plain Language Emergency Codes with your leadership, please contact Morgan Rackley