49% of physicians rely on pagers for communication: 4 study insights

Pagers remain the dominant form of communication technology among clinicians, with nearly 49 percent of hospital-based clinicians reporting they most commonly use pagers to receive patient care-related messages, according to recent research published in the Journal of Hospital Medicine.

A team of researchers led by Kevin O'Leary, MD, chief of hospital medicine at Chicago-based Northwestern Medicine, used a Society of Hospital Medicine database to survey 620 hospital-based clinicians across the nation on their use of patient care-related communication habits.

Here are 4 things to know.

1. Hospitals provided 79.8 percent of respondents pagers for patient care-related messaging.

2. Just over half of clinicians (52.9 percent) said they receive at least one text message about patient care per day.

3. Some clinicians reported receiving text messages containing some identifiable information (41.3 percent), individually identifiable information (21.5 percent) or urgent clinical issues (21 percent) at least once per day.

4. When considering hospitals that offer a secure messaging application, 26.6 percent of respondents reported some clinicians use the application, while 7.3 percent reported most clinicians use the application.

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