Paramedics Code Zero

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Code zero identifies 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 principal drivers that contribute to a code zero event. The first is a surge in events and/or responses within a short time frame that does not allow for paramedic resources to be replenished.  The more prevalent factor is when paramedics are transporting patients to hospital and the hospital has not accepted care of the patient in a timely manner. This off-load 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 off-load delays by working with a dedicated Registered Nurse (RN) to take responsibility of paramedics’ patients once arriving at the hospital. In addition to this, both HPS and the hospitals have been partnering to develop efficient processes in an effort to gain efficiencies within the hospital to increase 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 June 65

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 June 1