Case studies

McLaren Northern Michigan


McLaren Northern Michigan is a 202-bed, regional referral center located in Petoskey, Mich., and a subsidiary of McLaren Health Care health system. McLaren Northern Michigan provides comprehensive, compassionate care close to home through a full spectrum of hospital services, health screenings, educational programs, and clinical trials.


  • Healthcare

Business drivers

  • Give physicians the ability to receive critical messages on their device of choice
  • Add new features and functions to support the heart of the health system, the contact center
  • Increase physician satisfaction and enhance patient care


  • Spok Care Connect® contact center solutions upgrade


  • Improved communication among caregivers, enhancing their ability to deliver excellent patient care
  • Boosted physician satisfaction and increased the value of the contact center to physicians and other key stakeholders

The challenge

McLaren Northern Michigan (McLaren) is a long-time customer of Spok and has relied on Spok® solutions for over a decade. Several years ago, Spok contact center solutions helped McLaren centralize contact center operations for their regional health care network, and today they enable operators to provide efficient, excellent service to the 350,000 calls they field each year.

Several McLaren physicians had requested to receive critical messages from McLaren’s contact center on their smartphones in addition to or instead of their pagers. McLaren approached Spok to find out how to accomplish this and learned that they needed to upgrade their operator console and web solutions.

“Healthcare contact centers are charged not only with providing superior service to their external customers, but also to their internal ones,” said Betty Jo Ladd, call center team lead at McLaren. “We were thrilled we could meet the needs of our physicians through an upgrade project with Spok.”

The solution

McLaren’s telecommunications team worked with Spok Professional Services to map out the implementation project. Ladd said the entire process could not have gone more smoothly. With the latest Spok Care Connect® software in place, the contact center is now equipped to send messages on McLaren’s in-house paging system, as well as to physicians’ smartphones.

“It was one of the best implementations I’ve ever been a part of,” Ladd said. “The Spok team was right on top of it, and we transitioned almost instantly.”

McLaren employs a ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD) model for its physicians. When the organization realized that they had some cellular coverage issues with a particular wireless provider, the Spok team helped them determine how to pursue saturating the entire campus with wireless and cellular coverage to prevent message delays.

Another benefit of the upgrade was improving the operators’ knowledge of the latest solution. Spok trainers came in and showed the contact center staff all of the new things they could do to improve communication efficiency and support care coordination.

“ Spok trainers really knew our needs. It’s clear they have extensive experience in hospital settings—and they were wonderful to work with,” Ladd said.

Spok trainers really knew our needs. It’s clear they have extensive experience in hospital settings—and they were wonderful to work with.

– Betty Jo Ladd, Call Center Team Lead

The result

Since upgrading its contact center solutions, McLaren has seen increased physician satisfaction from the ability to efficiently send critical messages to each physician’s device of choice. This enhanced communication has had a positive effect on patient care, and also has reinforced how vital the centralized contact center is to the day-to-day operations at McLaren.