Some time ago it was recommended law enforcement, fire, and rescue personnel¬†discontinue use of 10-codes and colors to communicate between each other and dispatch. The prevalence of “10-4” in radio communications still dominates the airwaves.

Now Hospitals are getting in on the act. Last Thursday a new alert system at the Martinsville Hospital was unveiled to the Sovah’s Patient Family Advisory Council. Tuesday this week the system was put in use. Instead of “code red” or “code blue” blaring through the intercom, you’ll hear terms like “medical alert” or “rapid response.”

The theory is that it is easier to understand a message of direct words than words, numbers, or colors that have no meaning unless you know the code.