Case studies

North Mississippi Medical Center


Located in Tupelo, Miss., North Mississippi Medical Center is the largest private, not-for-profit hospital in Mississippi and the largest nonmetropolitan hospital in the United States. The hospital has 650 beds and has been designated a Level II Trauma Center.


  • Healthcare


  • Operator console, web directory, on-call scheduling, speech recognition, secure messaging

Business drivers

  • Replace paper-based code call processes and on-call schedules with the operator console and web directory
  • Reduce the number of calls requiring operator assistance
  • Improve customer service
  • Establish an audit trail for all messages to ensure messages are received or escalated
  • Enable physicians to use secure texting for important messages


  • Streamlined clinical communications
  • Ability to reach the appropriate staff member quicker and more accurately to allow for faster response time
  • Reduced the operators’ workloads
  • Improved relations between operators and clinicians

The challenge

North Mississippi Medical Center needed more efficient, accurate, and secure communication processes. To initiate a code call, operators used printed guides to determine the best way to reach the right staff. The operators relied on paper-based on-call schedules that were often inaccurate, resulting in pages being sent to the wrong people.

Clinicians were frustrated with the inaccurate communications. They wanted the process to be quicker, more efficient, and more accurate. Staff also wanted pages to be delivered to their smartphones.

In addition to these messaging challenges, operators also struggled to answer the high volume of calls efficiently. Callers would sometimes wait longer than 30 rings before an operator picked up. In addition to external calls, staff would also call with simple transfer requests, taking the operators away from more critical tasks such as code initiation and customer service.

The solution

For its call center, North Mississippi Medical Center chose Spok for its console, web directory, on-call scheduling, speech recognition, and secure messaging.

“The key to our success with [Spok] has been the integration between our products,” said Mac Stanford, Director of Biomedical and Communication Services at North Mississippi Medical Center. “Having the same information shared among the web directory, on-call scheduling, and operator console solutions has been seamless. It has made the operators’ jobs easier, and communications are more efficient.”

Having the same information shared among the web directory, on-call scheduling, and operator console solutions has been seamless. It has made the operators’ jobs easier, and communications are more efficient.

– Mac Stanford, Biomedical/Communication Services

The result

With the Spok Healthcare Console, operators can initiate a page with a phone call or click of the mouse. Operators are no longer required to sift through paper-based materials – everything they need is on their screens. The easy-to-navigate console allows the operators to process critical codes faster, improving response times.

The web directory and on-call scheduling solution allows departments to update on-call schedules from a single web-based portal. Since the scheduling tool and directory integrate with the console, operators have immediate access to the most up-to-date on-call schedules and contact information. Updated schedules mean that pages reach the right employee day or night.

Secure messaging from Spok has allowed North Mississippi staff members to choose if they’d like their messages sent to their smartphones. A full audit trail allows operators to see who has or hasn’t received a message so they can take further action or escalate the message if needed. It also allows users to access the web directory from their mobile device, giving users access to the staff directory and on-call schedules.

“We’ve taken a lot of pressure off our operators with our [Spok] solutions,” said Stanford. “Code initiation and clinical communications have been simplified. Fewer paper copies means more efficient communications and fewer pages sent to the wrong person. The ability to send messages securely to smartphones has pleased staff and sped communications.”

The medical center is also using Spok’s speech recognition solution. Employees simply dial “0” to reach the automated voice attendant for general requests such as transfers. This frees up operators’ phone lines, allowing them to answer external calls more quickly and improves customer satisfaction.