Case studies

Franciscan Health Michigan City


Located in Michigan City, Indiana, Franciscan Health Michigan City (formerly known as Franciscan St. Anthony Health – Michigan City) is one of 13 hospitals in the Franciscan Alliance health system. The hospital primarily serves the people of southwest Michigan and northwest Indiana. Its emergency department has 18 rooms, with an additional six rooms in the annex.


  • Healthcare

Business drivers

  • Notify multiple departments simultaneously for heart attack codes
  • Establish an audit trail for all messages, particularly delivery receipts
  • Speed response time through faster code initiation


  • Spok® e.Notify Emergency Notification


  • Cut code initiation time in half
  • Improved response times
  • Increased assurance of delivery and receipt of messages
  • Improved communication processes

The challenge

At Franciscan Health Michigan City, many staff members from several departments need to be notified during code STEMIs for heart attacks. Before finding a solution to improve the process, emergency department unit clerks at Franciscan Health Michigan City were required to page each department individually.

Since it wasn’t possible to determine whether a page was delivered, the unit clerk would often have to find staff members with follow-up pages or phones calls. The manual process slowed notification and response times.

The solution

The Franciscan Alliance health system is very diligent about evaluating technology solutions before making a purchase. The organization’s Crown Point facility was already successfully using Spok®e.Notify for emergency notification and incident communications. When Franciscan Health Michigan City started looking for a solution, it too selected Spok e.Notify.

Franciscan Health Michigan City’s key functionality requirements included the ability to notify multiple departments and groups simultaneously and an audit trail for all messages to make sure staff receive them quickly. The solution also needed to support the various mobile device types in use at the hospital.

“[Spok] e.Notify makes it much easier to track staff down and get responses,” said Joy Slutzkin, Chest Pain Center Coordinator and an emergency department nurse. “With [Spok] e.Notify, our code alert process is seamless, making responses faster and more efficient.

With [Spok] e.Notify, our code alert process is seamless, making responses faster and more efficient.

– Joy Slutzkin, Chest Pain Center Coordinator, Emergency Department Nurse

The result

All staff members in the emergency department were trained on how to activate code alerts. Everyone from the charge nurse to the unit clerk can activate code STEMIs, speeding the process.

All CATH lab staff members receive code STEMI alerts. As soon as two CATH lab staff members have responded, the page stops. Since the process is automated, this frees up time for the unit clerk in the emergency department to ensure the other steps in the process go smoothly, such as getting the patient to the CATH lab.

Before Spok, it took Franciscan Health Michigan City about three and a half minutes to activate code STEMIs and reach all necessary staff members. With Spok e.Notify, it now takes less than two minutes.

“One to two minutes may not seem like a lot, but in a situation like a heart attack, every minute counts,” said Slutzkin. “And two of our code STEMIs have had total door-to-balloon times of under 60 minutes. It is much easier to activate code alerts from the [Spok] e.Notify interface. With the audit trail functionality, unit clerks also spend less time tracking people down because the reporting tells them if and when they need to escalate pages.”

About three months after implementing Spok e.Notify, the Franciscan Health Michigan City emergency department received an excellence award for code STEMI response. Though the award was a result of many efforts, staff members believe Spok e.Notify played a critical role.