Pagers still a top communication tool in healthcare: 7 survey insights on hospital mobile strategies

Despite the popularity of smartphones and other mobile communication devices, many hospitals are still using pagers as a main mode of communication — especially among non-clinical care team members — according to a Spok survey.

For its annual "Mobile Strategies in Healthcare" report, Spok surveyed more than 300 healthcare professionals — 44 percent of whom were clinicians — about their organizations' mobile communication methods.

Here are seven survey insights:

1. The majority of respondents (57 percent) said their organization has a mobile strategy in place and 21 percent of them said their strategies have been in place for more than five years.

2. The plurality of organizations (46 percent) consider their mobile strategy a communication initiative, while others consider it a clinical initiative (25 percent) or a technology initiative (24 percent).

3. Forty-three percent of organizations indicated their security team charged with monitoring the hospital or system is responsible for enforcing mobile policies. Other organizations assign this responsibility to a telecommunications team (43 percent) or a clinical informatics team (43 percent).

4. Pagers remain a relatively popular option among healthcare organizations (56 percent);however, more organizations support smartphones (74 percent) and Wi-Fi phones (69 percent). Among non-clinical care team staff, 40 percent of organization use pagers, followed by Wi-Fi phones (15 percent) and smartphones (14 percent).

5. Respondents indicated smartphones (57 percent) are reliable communication channels for sharing clinical information, followed by overhead announcements (40 percent) and Wi-Fi phones (38 percent).

6. When asked whether their organizations use a collaborative  solution such as secure texting, 41 percent of respondents said yes while 32 percent indicated they are evaluating one. Twenty-eight percent of respondents said they do not use secure texting and do not plan to.

7. Seventeen percent of respondents said their organization plans to extend its mobile strategy to patients and their families, while 46 percent are considering it.

Click here to access the full report.

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