Study: 90 Percent of Hospitals Still Use Pagers and Overpay to Maintain Legacy Technology | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology Skip to content Skip to navigation

Study: 90 Percent of Hospitals Still Use Pagers and Overpay to Maintain Legacy Technology

February 29, 2016
by Heather Landi
| Reprints
Click To View Gallery

Despite widespread use of smartphones and other mobile devices among healthcare providers, 90 percent of hospitals still use pagers and overpay by 45 percent to maintain legacy paging services, according to a study by Tiger Text and using research conducted by HIMSS Analytics.

The HIMSS Analytics research is based on a survey of 200 hospitals and findings of the survey indicate that nine out of ten still use pagers and on average spend around $180,000 per year.

“This research uncovered that a significant number of hospitals still rely on pagers as a cost of doing business. ‘Legacy technology’ can be difficult to replace despite that more advanced technology is available,” Bryan Fiekers, director, Advisory Services Group for HIMSS Analytics, said.

Health IT vendor Tiger Text conducted a study, titled “The Hidden Cost of Pagers in Healthcare,” that included research from HIMSS Analytics and other market research.  The HIMSS Analytics research found that the average paging service cost per device was $9.19 per month, compared to industry research showing the cost of secure messaging app alternatives to be less than $5 per month.

According to the study, HIMSS Analytics research revealed significant “soft” costs from the continued use of pagers, including:

A lack of two-way communication was the most commonly cited disadvantage of using pagers among the executives interviewed as part of the study. 

One-way paging does not give recipients full context nor the option to provide feedback or ask questions, costing care teams precious time to manage patient care. 

Pagers were seen in interviews as causing communication gaps by not allowing users to update contact directories and on-call schedules, which are critical to effectively reaching physicians.

Survey respondents noted the inconvenience of carrying and managing more than one device.

The limits of paging systems operating only on a single network was perceived as a significant disadvantage, unlike smartphones which communicate across multiple networks (i.e., cellular, WIFI).

According to the study, one CIO at a leading university hospital who participated in the study said, “Nothing would make me happier than to move away from pagers. At one time, pagers were more convenient, before people had their cell phones on them all the times; however, there are significant challenges with not using updated technology, such as not having a centralized directory, contacts and call schedules. 

The CIO added, “I think people are going to be happy to shed a device and instead walk around with a device that is theirs and that they already rely upon every day.  I think we are in a transition state.”

 

Get the latest information on Health IT and attend other valuable sessions at this two-day Summit providing healthcare leaders with educational content, insightful debate and dialogue on the future of healthcare and technology.

Learn More

Topics

News

Study will Leverage Connecticut HIE to Help Prevent Suicides

A new study will aim to leverage CTHealthLink, a physician-led health information exchange (HIE) in Connecticut, to help identify the factors leading to suicide and to ultimately help prevent those deaths.

Duke Health First to Achieve HIMSS Stage 7 Rating in Analytics

North Carolina-based Duke Health has become the first U.S. healthcare institution to be awarded the highest honor for analytic capabilities by HIMSS Analytics.

NIH Releases First Dataset from Adolescent Brain Development Study

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced the release of the first dataset from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study, which will enable scientists to conduct research on the many factors that influence brain, cognitive, social, and emotional development.

Boston Children's Accelerates Data-Driven Approach to Clinical Research

In an effort to bring a more data-driven approach to clinical research, Boston Children’s Hospital has joined the TriNetX global health research network.

Paper Records, Films Most Common Type of Healthcare Data Breach, Study Finds

Despite the high level of hospital adoption of electronic health records and federal incentives to do so, paper and films were the most frequent location of breached data in hospitals, according to a recent study.

AHA Appoints Senior Advisor for Cybersecurity and Risk

The American Hospital Association (AHA) has announced that John Riggi has joined the association as senior advisor for cybersecurity and risk.