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Spok® Messenger

The Challenge of Providing Patient Care While Maintaining Efficiency

Many hospitals today face the same challenge. Everyone agrees that quality and speed of patient care are essential. Yet, the highly mobile staff at most healthcare facilities often cannot provide the best care possible due to poor communication procedures. Staff members have become frustrated at the inefficiency that results with undirected updates and alerts being sent to clinicians and other staff members. One patient’s lab results have come in. Another is reporting pain through the nurse call system. A third’s heart monitor is beeping. Someone wants to speak with a doctor. The security system is acting up. The list goes on.

How has this happened? It’s simple. Today’s technology—point-of-care, safety, nurse call, and other systems—generates a lot of valuable information that needs to be shared. The trouble is that it’s not being shared in meaningful ways with the right people. The result is slower response to critical events, and patient care, safety, and satisfaction can suffer.

Enabling Critical Connectivity and Fast Response

Spok® Messenger is an intelligent, FDA 510(k)-cleared solution that sends critical information and updates from your alert systems, such as nurse call, patient monitoring, and many others to mobile staff on their wireless communication devices. At a high level, it creates an enterprise-wide approach to the management, prioritization, and response to key events. This includes the ability to send messages to the right people based on rules set up in your hospital, including escalated communications whenever necessary. It also means you can manage devices easily and allocate staff appropriately.

Ultimately, being able to reach mobile team members within seconds of a critical alert improves overall workflow, staff productivity, and the comfort and safety of everyone in your facility.

Spok Messenger works with virtually all end-user communication devices on the market, including smartphones and tablets. This is key as “smart devices” have become an essential component of hospital communications. Spok Messenger sends alerts to iPhone,® Android,® and BlackBerry® phones and tablets. This capability enables a streamlined workflow where critical information flows securely from clinical machines to mobile caregivers to additional caregivers if needed, all in the interest of topnotch patient care.

"“The [Spok] system helps us provide better patient care by letting us alert staff faster and with more relevant information than before.” "

––Steve Ridenour Systems Manager MedCentral Health System

Managing Today’s Sources of Information

Healthcare organizations need effective ways of centralizing all of the information generated by clinical and security systems and distributing it to the right person. They also need technology with demonstrable ROI.

Spok enables healthcare organizations to expand the possibilities of their existing communication infrastructure with a critical layer of connectivity and meaningful information sharing. As the leader in this space, Spok lets you create powerful linkages among your systems, technology, and staff. Erasing system boundaries is essential to your ability to achieve ROI, higher levels of efficiency for staff, and better patient care, safety, and satisfaction.

Spok Interoperability

Providing the Functionality that Enables Quick Response

  • Integration to your communication devices: Whether your organization uses in-building wireless phones, LED signs, voice communication badges, pagers, smartphones, or even all of them in the same facility, send staff alarms and updates on the appropriate devices at all times. Spok Messenger has proven interoperability with virtually all communication output devices.
  • Mobile web messaging: Leverage support for mobile web-based messaging with any Spok Messenger user or station from Android or iPhone clients.
  • Alarm filtering: Establish rules that direct the right alarms to the right staff members to eliminate unnecessary alerts. Filtering also means off-duty staff aren’t bothered by updates that don’t occur during their shift.
  • Assignment client: Enhance workflows and increase efficiency with assignment and scheduling tools. This means that updates are sent to the right person based on his or her role and device preferences.
  • Integrated messaging using industry-standard methods for common alarm/input systems (HL7) standards-based systems: Systems such as lab results, radiology results, and patient vitals can be directly linked to your staff’s wireless devices for fast updates. Doctors no longer need to call down to the lab requesting results, the lab techs no longer need to play phone tag with the doctors, and overall patient care is improved by speeding up these communications. Spok is an active participant in the efforts of Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) to standardize these systems for ease of implementation. Spok views this organization as the future of hospital system integration and even holds a seat on the IHE standards board.

Enabling Security and Ease of Administration

  • User-configured access and filtering by department: Let users see only what they need to based on their role/department. Advanced filtering means fewer broad-based alerts go to people who don’t need to receive them.
  • Extensible messaging support: Plan for the future with an extensible system that can grow with your organization as new devices and systems are required. You won’t have to forklift your entire messaging strategy every time something changes.
  • Web-based administration: Many functions within Spok Messenger can be accomplished securely online. This centralized, thin-client approach makes the solution easier to deploy and maintain.
  • Integration with the full Spok suite: As a leader in critical communications, Spok offers healthcare organizations a broad suite of integrated solutions. In addition to Spok Messenger, this spans communication tools for contact center management, web-based employee directories, on-call scheduling, speech recognition, enhanced 9-1-1, emergency and incident management, smartphone communications, critical test results management, and paging.

Proven Interoperability and Integrations


  • Bed management
  • Building automation
  • Computer-aided dispatch
  • Computerized physician order entry (CPOE)
  • Critical test results management
  • Electronic medical records
  • Fire alarms
  • HVAC
  • Infant abduction
  • Infusion pumps
  • Lab information systems
  • Location-based services
  • Medication management
  • Nurse call
  • Operator consoles
  • Patient information systems
  • Patient monitoring
  • Pneumatic tubes
  • Pulse oximeters
  • Security
  • Ventilators


  • Smartphones
  • Tablets
  • Voice communication badges
  • Two-way pagers
  • In-house wireless telephones
    including the Spectralink PIVOT™
  • Pagers (onsite and wide area)
  • LED signs
  • SMS
  • Plasma/LCD
  • Email interface
  • Operator consoles

Enterprise-ready Architecture

  • High reliability, scalability, and failover capabilities mean less downtime, you won’t suffer from slow response, and you won’t outgrow the system.
  • The Spok Health Status Monitor improves solution resiliency by detecting potential issues and sending notifications to both Spok and the customer. This module is included with Spok solutions to help with suite-wide reliability, monitoring, and notification.
  • Highly scalable system architecture, supporting extensibility and redundancy
  • Compliant with VMware®
  • Supports storing data on customer SAN
  • Multi-user, IP-based messaging platform operating under Microsoft® Windows®
  • Client software is browser-based and has no need for fat clients on machines

Working with the Leader in Critical Healthcare Communications

  • Spok Messenger is field-proven and in use at hundreds of locations worldwide
  • Spok Messenger is FDA 510(k) cleared as a class II medical device
  • Spok is committed to working with a wide array of device vendors, always adding new integrations
  • Spok Messenger is a strategic focus for Spok and thus receives R&D spend for product enhancement
  • Full suite for critical communications
  • 24/7/365 in-house support

Spok Messenger Bottom Line

  • Improve care and safety
  • Improve satisfaction of staff, patients, and family members
  • Improve staff efficiency
  • Work with a company with proven experience and referenceable customers

Spok Messenger in Action at Maple Grove Hospital

Maple Grove Hospital in Maple Grove, Minn., is a forward-looking organization designed and built to live up to its mission of delivering healthcare as it ought to be. This includes using communication technologies and workflows that help increase patient safety and staff efficiency.

Maple Grove uses Spok Messenger to communicate important messages from patient monitoring and nurse call systems to the right staff member via voice communication badges, pagers, Wi-Fi phones, and email. At Maple Grove, processes are smooth, chaos is low, and patients are pleased. In fact, the facility is among the top-ranking hospitals in the nation for its patient satisfaction scores regarding willingness to recommend.