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key takeaways

  • Mock Code Blue programs are one of the most effective ways to prepare your staff for emergency events, but they require planning, funding, and commitment to maintain.
  • Even for the most committed hospitals, time constraints, lack of leadership support, and logistical obstacles can get in the way.
  • Tailoring trainings to your hospital’s specific needs, scheduling mock codes regularly, aligning your program to organizational goals, and encouraging interdisciplinary collaboration are strategies that can help.

From improved response time, to elevated code performance, to increased staff preparedness and satisfaction, mock Code Blue training programs come with a whole host of benefits.

But there’s a big difference between recognizing those benefits and actually implementing and sustaining a successful mock Code Blue program. Even hospitals that are fully committed to the program will likely run into some obstacles — whether it be inadequate funding, lack of administrator support, time constraints, or some other barrier. Sound familiar? Keep reading as we discuss 3 common barriers to mock Code Blue programs — and most importantly, how to overcome them at your hospital.

Mock code barrier: Time constraints

Looks like:

With conflicting schedules and a never-ending list of tasks and patients to attend to, it can be challenging for clinicians to prioritize training activities.1

The fix:

  • Tailor training to your hospital’s needs. Not all mock codes need to be lengthy and time consuming. Make the most out of the time you have by looking critically at what areas need the most improvement and tailoring mock code scenarios accordingly. If you’re not sure where to begin, start by looking at data from hot and cold debriefs or from electronic Code Blue documentation to help spot recurring problems. Here’s an example: If time to defibrillation could use improvement at your hospital, put the mock patient in a shockable rhythm and run through ways to cut down on response time. These types of focused, targeted trainings can be short and sweet — but still effective.
  • Schedule trainings regularly and frequently. Inevitably, clinicians may have to miss a training here or there for a more pressing need. Offering mock code opportunities regularly helps prevent long gaps in training where clinical skills can start to lapse.

Mock code barrier: Lack of leadership support

Can look like:

  • Resistance to change/belief that the status quo is sufficient
  • Lack of awareness of the value of mock code simulation
  • Verbal support but lack of practical commitment needed to secure funding and maintain the program

However it looks, insufficient support from leadership and administrators can be a significant obstacle to a mock Code Blue program. Without visible endorsement from leadership to secure the resources and funding needed, it will be difficult to keep the program’s momentum going.1

The fix:

Advocate strategically for resources and support. Check out the suggestions below to get started, then head to our blog on gaining administrator support for a deeper dive.

  • Get your mock code program in front of the right person. You need someone who is open to innovation and has a reputation as a change agent to move the program forward.
  • Align your program to hospital goals. Do some research to learn what leadership’s top goals are, and then make a case for how your training program helps achieve them. For example, if staffing shortages and high turnover are problems at your hospital, focus on how Code Blues are a source of stress and dissatisfaction and how mock codes can help. Simulation training also has benefits for patient safety and risk mitigation, which tend to be top leadership priorities as well.

Mock code barrier: Financial and logistical obstacles

Can look like:

  • Limited financial resources for program support and training equipment2
  • Challenges with scheduling, facility availability, coordination of multidisciplinary teams, and ensuring participation from all relevant stakeholders1

The fix:

  • Ditch the all-or-nothing mentality. Yes, high-fidelity mock codes come with all sorts of benefits, but they’re not the only option. Simple, low-fidelity resuscitation simulations can be conducted in nearly any training area with a basic manikin and training defibrillator. The impact to the budget is low, but the team will still reap benefits.
  • Collaborate with stakeholders across departments. Establish interdisciplinary simulation committees and foster these partnerships and relationships. Doing so will go a long way toward overcoming logistical hurdles and encouraging program longevity.3


Nuvara® can help

CoDirector® Resuscitation Software offers a Training Mode feature to make mock codes even easier:

  • Increases training effectiveness: To make mock codes as realistic as possible, Training Mode utilizes the exact same functionality clinicians will experience during an actual event.
  • Preserves data integrity and simplifies analysis: The system automatically stores mock code data separately from actual events. No manual work needed to preserve data and reporting integrity.


  1. Paganotti LA, Shope R, Calhoun A, & McDonald PL. (2023). Barriers and facilitators to implementing simulation-based translational research. Simulation in Healthcare: The Journal of the Society for Simulation in Healthcare, Publish Ahead of Print.
  2. Mack A, Escher A, & Wong J. (2022). Barriers, challenges, and supports to the implementation of standardized patients and simulated environments by occupational therapy education programs. Journal of Occupational Therapy Education, 6(2).
  3. Hunziker S, O’Connell KJ, Ranniger C, et al. (2018). Effects of designated leadership and team-size on cardiopulmonary resuscitation: The basel-washington simulation (bawasim) trial. Journal of Critical Care, 48, 72–77.
The information provided in this article is strictly for the convenience of our customers and is for general informational purposes only. Publication by Nuvara does not constitute an endorsement. Nuvara does not warrant the accuracy or completeness of any information, text, graphics, links, or other items contained within this document. Nuvara does not guarantee you will achieve any specific results if you follow any advice in the document. It may be advisable for you to consult with a professional such as a lawyer, doctor, nurse, business advisor, or professional engineer to get specific advice that applies to your specific situation.