Skip to content Skip to navigation

Study: Pagers, Outdated Communication Tech Costing Hospitals

May 7, 2013
by Gabriel Perna
| Reprints

According to a new study from the Traverse City, Mich.-based Ponemon Institute, collectively, U.S. hospitals are losing $8.3 billion annually due to the use of pagers and outdated communicates technologies. These technologies, the study’s authors say decrease clinician productivity and increase patient discharge time.

Ponemon Institute surveyed 577 healthcare professionals for the study, which was sponsored by the Lexington, Mass.-based security software company, Imprivata. What they found was the average clinician wastes 45 minutes per day as a result of inefficient communication systems. Translated, Ponemon’s researchers found, this costs the average hospital nearly $1 million annually. Furthermore, increased patient discharge times due to these communication failures can cost a hospital more than $550,000 per year in lost revenue.

“Our research uncovered several sobering realities about the negative impacts of antiquated communication technologies and security policies on a hospital’s bottom line as well as on doctor productivity,” stated Larry Ponemon, Ph.D., chairman and founder of the Ponemon Institute. “For instance, doctors say they spend only about 45 percent of their time actually interfacing with patients, in large part because they must deal with inefficient communications technologies such as pagers. Outmoded technologies also contribute significantly to increased patient discharge times, which average about 101 minutes.”

Ponemon, who is notable for his organization’s annual healthcare privacy and security report, says smartphones could help solve many of these communication issues. However, he notes, they hospital leaders are hesitant to adopt them because of “challenging regulatory compliance requirements.”

Of those surveyed in the report, more than half say the inefficiency of pagers (52 percent) is the biggest drag in clinician’s time. This is followed by the lack of Wi-Fi availability (39 percent), the inadequacy of email (38 percent) and the inability to use text messaging (36 percent). Overall, clinicians say 45 percent of their time is spent with patients, while the remaining 55 percent is spent communicating and collaborating with other clinicians, or using electronic medical records and other clinical IT systems.

Topics

News

HHS Plans to Strengthen Adult Immunization Health IT Infrastructure

February 12, 2016
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) plans to improve adult vaccination rates through its National Adult Immunization Plan, which includes plans to improve the health IT infrastructure behind adult immunization registries.

NewYork-Presbyterian Taps into Tech Community for Pediatric App Challenge

February 12, 2016
NewYork-Presbyterian, which launched the first hospital hackathon two years ago, is again engaging the tech community with its InnovateNYP: Pediatric App Challenge to develop apps and tools to advance pediatric healthcare.

Great Lakes Health Connect Invests $250K to Build Up Flint Michigan’s Health IT Infrastructure

February 12, 2016
Great Lakes Health Connect (GLHC) and regional partners this week announced a $250,000 investment to build up information exchange to help address and mitigate the longer term health effects that may arise after lead exposure related to the Flint water crisis.

Join Us: HCI, UT Southwestern CIO to Host Tweet Chat on Feb. 18

February 12, 2016
The editors of Healthcare Informatics will be hosting their fourth tweet chat on Thursday, February 18th at 4 P.M. EST. The tweet chat will have special guest Mark Rauschuber, CIO at UT Southwestern Medical Center, our #1 Innovator Awards Program winning team.

CommonWell Adds HIMSS, eClinicalWorks, Others to its Growing Alliance

February 12, 2016
The CommonWell Health Alliance is continuing its growth, recently announcing that seven new members are joining its effort to enhance nationwide health data exchange.

Health Insurer Centene Reports Finding Six Lost Hard Drives

February 11, 2016
Centene Corp., the St. Louis, Mo.-based health insurer, has recovered the six missing computer hard drives that contained personal health information (PHI) of approximately 950,000 individuals.

Recent Healthcare Data Breaches Due to Stolen Laptops, Unauthorized Employee Access

February 11, 2016
There were a number of reported healthcare data breaches this week, including Miami-based Jackson Health System reporting that a “rogue” hospital employee may have stolen confidential patient information affecting more than 20,000 patients.

McKesson, HealthQX Partner on Bundled Payment Technology Solutions

February 11, 2016
Newton, Mass.-based McKesson Health Solutions and HealthQX, based in King of Prussia, Pa., this week announced an alliance designed to help payers quickly design and scale complex bundled payment models and then provide timely and accurate payment to providers.

Study: Patients with Electronic Health Records Experience Fewer In-Hospital Adverse Events

February 11, 2016
A recent study funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) indicates that patients exposed to a fully electronic health record (EHR) were between 17 and 30 percent less likely to experience in-hospital adverse events.

Cerner Awarded $50.7m DoD Data Hosting Contract

February 11, 2016
The Kansas City-based Cerner Corp. has been awarded a $50.7 million sole source data hosting add-on to the massive Department of Defense Healthcare Management Systems Modernization (DHMSM) electronic health record (EHR) contract that it won last year.

Proposed 2017 Federal Budget Includes $82M for ONC, $51M for Healthcare Cybersecurity

February 10, 2016
President Barack Obama this week presented his last budget proposal to Congress for fiscal year 2017 and it includes a $22 million funding boost for the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) to support health IT interoperability programs and $51 million for healthcare cybersecurity efforts.

Obama Administration Asks Congress for $1.8B in Emergency Zika Virus Funding

February 9, 2016
The White House this week requested Congress for more than $1.8 billion in emergency funding to enhance ongoing efforts to prepare for and respond to the Zika virus, both domestically and internationally.

Senate HELP Committee Passes Health IT Bill

February 9, 2016
The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee today unanimously passed the Improving Health Information Technology Act as well as six other biomedical innovation bills with bipartisan support.

Lincare to Pay $240K in Civil Penalties for HIPAA Privacy Rule Violation

February 9, 2016
Lincare, a provider of respiratory and infusion therapy and medical equipment to in-home patients, has been ordered to pay $239,800 in civil money penalties for violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) Privacy Rule.

WellSpan Surgery and Rehabilitation Hospital Receives Stage 7 Award

February 8, 2016
York, Pa.-based WellSpan Surgery and Rehabilitation Hospital has reached Stage 7 on the Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model (EMRAM), developed by HIMSS Analytics, the research arm of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS).

Pages