Do Doctors Still Use Pagers?


In today’s fast-paced healthcare environment, technology plays a crucial role in improving communication and streamlining processes. However, it may come as a surprise to learn that pagers are still prevalent in many hospitals, clinics, and medical facilities.

Why Do Hospitals and Clinics Still Use Pagers?

In an interview, PerfectServe Chief Product Officer Ben Moore detailed why pager use persists among doctors. Let’s explore why it’s time for healthcare organizations to embrace modern solutions and bid farewell to antiquated pagers.

The Reliability Factor

According to Moore, there are nearly 800,000 pager devices still in circulation today, and their primary users are doctors. Many doctors cite the pager’s reliability and connectivity as one of the reasons they continue to use technology that most consider to be outdated. Even in areas with poor cell reception, doctors can trust that messages will always find their way to them, ensuring uninterrupted connectivity and greater peace of mind.

PerfectServe recognizes the need to address these concerns using cutting-edge software. By introducing virtual pager functionality, PerfectServe allows doctors to transform their smartphones into powerful communication tools while retaining the reliability they value in traditional pagers.

Separating Work and Personal Life

Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is crucial for doctors and is another key reason why doctors hold onto pagers: They want clear separation between work and their personal lives. With a virtual pager number provided by PerfectServe’s app, doctors can enjoy the benefits of a separate contact number while also using their own mobile device. This allows them to call patients or other clinicians while hiding their personal number and it provides the option to maintain privacy by displaying the hospital or clinic’s caller ID. Additionally, call schedules are seamlessly managed, automatically transitioning doctors off-call when they’re not required to receive messages.

Combining Pagers with Modern Technology

Enhancing Reliability and Escalation

PerfectServe’s software-based approach further enhances reliability. In the event a message fails to reach its intended recipient, the software can automatically escalate the communication. This may involve a message to the attending physician, who is able to customize how they receive work-related alerts on their own mobile device. A backup physician can be notified as well, ensuring critical messages are promptly received. By leveraging these technological advancements, PerfectServe makes the paging service ultra-reliable, eliminating the risk of missed or delayed notifications.

Eliminating Alert Fatigue

Pagers have a notorious side effect—alert fatigue. Every message, regardless of urgency, sounds the same and demands the doctor’s attention. PerfectServe’s purpose-built app tackles this issue head-on. Low-priority messages are subtly indicated, maybe with a vibration in the pocket, while critical alerts related to acute patient care are more assertive, ensuring doctors prioritize urgent matters promptly. The app provides more context and information, going beyond the 140 character limit of a pager message. Integration with health records offers doctors access to patient details, saving valuable time spent searching for information.

Harnessing Smart Technology

PerfectServe’s commitment to improving physician workflows extends to collaborating with Apple and Google. Through special permissions, PerfectServe notifications can be set to override silent mode, the hardware setting that mutes smartphone notifications. This ensures that time-sensitive messages intended for on-call doctors are able to break through the silence. By doing so, it eliminates unnecessary disruptions while guaranteeing that doctors never miss crucial communications, striking a balance between uninterrupted workflow and immediate responsiveness. Doctors can focus on their work without constantly being interrupted by routine notifications, ensuring that they receive critical messages when necessary.

As the healthcare industry evolves, it’s imperative for doctors, nurses, and entire care teams to embrace innovative solutions that improve efficiency, enhance patient care, and alleviate the burden on healthcare professionals. PerfectServe’s virtual pager system presents a clear advantage over traditional pagers, offering reliability, separation of work and personal life, improved escalation protocols, and a smarter approach to alert management.

It’s time for healthcare organizations to leave pagers behind and embrace the much richer possibilities afforded by modern technology.

Are you ready to see how PerfectServe can work for your organization? Schedule a demo with us today.

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