Paramedics Code Zero

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Code zero occurs when the resources within Hamilton Paramedic Service are no longer able to keep pace with service demand and 911 events.

Story behind the numbers

There are two main factors which contribute to a code zero event. The first is a surge in events and/or responses within a short time frame which do not allow for paramedic resources to be replenished.  The second factor occurs when paramedics transport patients to hospital and the hospital does not accept care of the patient in a timely manner. This offload delay results in reduced available ambulances in the community to respond to calls.

Performance improvements

HPS continues to collaborate with local hospitals to reduce ambulance offload delays by working with a dedicated Registered Nurse (RN) to take responsibility of paramedic patients upon arrival at the hospital. In addition to this, both HPS and the hospitals have partnered to develop efficient emergency room work flow processes.  The gains from this partnership will increase patient flow through the institution resulting in room for patients in the Emergency Room (ER) once paramedics arrive.

Number of Code Zero Events

Year Total Events
2013 242
2014 151
2015 44
2016 60
2017 119
2018 - January to September 83

Average Duration of Code Zero Events

Year Average Duration (Hrs)
2013 1.5
2014 1.2
2015 1
2016 1.2
2017 1.1
2018 - January to September 0.8