The Connected Clinician: How to Receive Pages on Your Smartphone, PHI on Your Pager, and More
January 30, 2018
I sometimes see competitor marketing or industry publications describing Spok as a paging company. Sure, we’re the largest paging company in the U.S. with over 1 million subscribers. But we’re so much more: Spok has evolved to become the leader in healthcare communications. Our integrated platform, Spok Care Connect, is used in more than 1,900 hospitals around the world and by all of the U.S. News and World Report Best Hospitals. We listen to our customers, have a world-class development team, and are continually investing in the latest technologies.
What we’re not is a telecommunications company solely supporting a legacy device. That’s not who we are, or what we’re about. The healthcare industry is entering a new era of value-based care, and hospitals and health systems are looking to companies like Spok to innovate solutions that will propel them toward that vision. Unified communications and integrated systems are required more than ever to improve care team collaboration, a fundamental element of healthcare transformation.
That’s why at Spok, we pride ourselves on supporting device diversity and providing the flexibility and options that clinicians need in order to communicate with the entire care team and coordinate patient care. Many of our customers still want to use pagers—nearly 80 percent of hospital-based clinicians use pagers for patient care communications—but others may be using a smartphone, tablet, or Wi-Fi phone. Frequently, a hospital could have clinicians using all of the above. We do not dictate to our customers to use any particular type of device, but rather we focus on building flexible software that adapts to our customers’ needs.
We want mobile devices to support their workflows, not the other way around. Spok solutions offer the flexibility for your doctors and nurses to carry a smartphone, a pager, or both, depending on their role and their personal preferences. Let’s explore the mobility possibilities:
You probably know this one already: Spok Mobile®, our secure messaging application for smartphones and tablets, is a HIPAA-compliant communication powerhouse. It allows you to securely communicate with any type of device in your organization’s directory (other secure devices are indicated with a lock symbol), access the latest on-call schedules, send images and videos, receive system alerts and alarms, and logs all communications in an audit trail. It can even push notifications to your Apple Watch while you’re in the pool! If you don’t need or want a pager, Spok Mobile can fully support your clinical communications.
Spok Mobile + Pager
What if your hospital supports paging and requires you to receive pages, but you don’t want to carry more than one device? Spok Mobile + Pager, a dual-deployment model, allows you to use your Spok pager number with a smartphone. Other care team members can send messages to your Spok pager number and have them go directly to your smartphone—all without changing the way messages are sent or updating paging numbers.
Spok Mobile as a Pager
The two options above rely on your organization deploying Spok Mobile enterprise. Spok Mobile as a Pager doesn’t require Spok Mobile enterprise, as the servers and infrastructure are housed with Spok. Spok Mobile acts exclusively like your pager, meaning you receive all your pages on your smartphone, but you don’t have access to the other features Spok Mobile provides, such as the directory and on-call schedules.
Connected and Encrypted Paging
When most people think about paging, they think about the basics: Simple, alphanumeric pages with shorthand messages. Spok supports that, but we also support connected and encrypted paging. With the Spok Care Connect platform, hospitals can deliver information from clinical and facility systems right to your pager, including alerts, alarms, and even critical test results. With encrypted paging, the T5 and T52 pagers exclusive to Spok, securely send protected health information (PHI) from these systems, as well as pages from your colleagues.
Your device really isn’t about us at all. It’s about you! Which mobile device(s) best support your workflows and help you provide better patient care? You tell us the device mix that your organization needs and that your care teams want, and we’ll support it.
Have questions about any of these scenarios, or having trouble deciding which is right for you? Please drop us a line and we’ll figure it out together.
By Ben Gansen, Technical Product Manager, Mobile
Ben is the product owner for Spok’s enterprise mobility solution, Spok Mobile, leading current development and shaping future mobile product vision. He has over a decade of experience in product strategy and design.