“Code Lavender”: Call the emotional support team!

Here’s a great article and video in the Huffington Post about a hospital that give a high priority to emotional support for health professionals:

Hospitals have procedures and alerts in place to deal with practically anything that could possibly go wrong: “Code Red” for fire, “code blue” for medical emergencies, and “code white” for behavioral disturbances, to name a few. But the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio has introduced a new alert, “Code Lavender,” for a more unlikely and much more common threat: stress and burnout.

Code Lavender — which has also been employed at North Hawaii Community Hospital in Waimea — is a “holistic care rapid response” serving patients and physicians in need of intensive emotional or spiritual support, according to Amy Greene, director of spiritual care at Cleveland Clinic.

“It was an idea to indicate that we were going to respond as quickly as possible to a need for intensive emotional and spiritual support,” Greene tells The Huffington Post. “We thought originally that it would be for patients and their family members, but as it turned out, we started doing them mostly for staff.”

We applaud Cleveland Clinic for this unique initiative.

There’s just one jarring note in the story – and those are the words chosen by Huffingtone Post to headline the story: “The Amazing Way this Hospital is Fighting Physician Burnout“. Healthcare is contaminated with the language  of violence – see our blog ‘Winning the War‘ – but to be successful in change, we have to focus on what we want more of, not fighting against the opposite. The problem of physician burnout will be solved with empathy, love and compassion.

Read more about the approach taken by Cleveland Clinic…



4 Responses to ““Code Lavender”: Call the emotional support team!”

  1. Jill Weinstein says:

    I am a former Hawaii resident now living on the mainland,
    Please may I have more information on the code lavender so I can work with my nurse manager to implement code lavender for our staff
    Jill Weinstein

  2. Cheryl Denton says:

    Could you give me more information as far as policies or procedures introduced?

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