Twice per month, BWH conducts unannounced mock codes that enable clinical and non-clinical staff, including BWH’s Code Blue teams, to practice clinical skills. The Mock Code Program, which was created in 2004, is also critical to helping BWH identify potential latent patient safety issues across the hospital.

Emergency Medicine’s Charles Pozner, MD, medical director of the Neil and Elise Wallace STRATUS Center for Medical Simulation at BWH, and his team conduct these unannounced drills in varying areas of the hospital.

“We perform mock codes to identify latent safety threats that we can then address before they result in a clinical problem,” said Pozner. “We’re trying to answer questions such as, is our equipment well-placed and functional? Are the right people on the code team? Do local responders understand their role and those of their team during low-frequency events?”

These twice-monthly mock codes require the full attention of all responding and local employees. Following each mock code, a short debriefing session is conducted to reinforce appropriate care, and a report is generated to ensure that identified system problems are addressed by local and hospital leadership.

“If you find yourself involved in a mock code, we ask that you approach the process with the same effort with which you would care for an actual patient,” said Pozner.