There’s a burst pipe and water is pouring onto the floor of your unit. Who do you call?

In Saskatoon Health Region’s acute care sites in Saskatoon, you have a choice of numbers to call to report safety incidents – 3-2-1 for codes, emergencies or to reach Switchboard immediately; or the Safety Alert System at 655-1600. But which one do you call when?

In a situation such as a flooding hallway, staff would call 3-2-1 first.

RR-2015-03-18-SAS-one-year-later“Staff, physicians and volunteers should call 3-2-1 in an emergency situation where an immediate response is needed, such as when you see water running down the hall and need maintenance on site right away to address it,” stated Jean Morrison, president and CEO of St. Paul’s Hospital. “Or if there is a serious security threat, or you need to report a Code Blue to get the response team out. Whenever you need the phone picked up right away to get immediate help, call 3-2-1.”

The second line, the Safety Alert System (655-1600), is open to physicians, employees, volunteers, patients and families to call when they have a concern regarding safety in a facility. A safety centre coordinator will fill in a report for them based on their call, and will help determine the appropriate response.

The Safety Alert line is for reporting staff and patient safety issues, where staff need support or assistance, or need to report a safety concern. Staff should call the Safety Alert System when they need to report something that happened, or could have happened, and they might need help to deal with it, but not necessarily on an emergency basis. Depending on the severity of the safety incident, a director or a vice president might respond to the Safety Alert System call – not necessarily a maintenance worker who will help you clean up the water.

“It’s a fine line,” Morrison admitted. “But the Safety Alert System line doesn’t have the ability to get someone help in 30 seconds, and doesn’t have access to the paging system or the call system. Calling 3-2-1 is for emergencies where you can’t wait even a minute.”