Case studies

St. Vincent’s Hospital


St. Vincent’s Hospital is a public healthcare system located in Melbourne, Victoria. It has more than 5,000 staff and 880 beds. The Australia-based organization works with a vast network of collaborative partners to deliver high-quality treatment, teaching, education, and research. St. Vincent’s provides a range of offerings, including acute medical and surgical services, emergency and critical care, aged care, diagnostics, rehabilitation, allied health, mental health, palliative care, and residential care.


  • Healthcare

Business drivers

  • Outdated paging system
  • Establish efficient communication
  • Alleviate staff alarm fatigue


  • Spok® Messenger Clinical Alerting


  • Reliable delivery of messages
  • Faster response to nurse call and fire alarm notifications
  • Increased staff self-sufficiency

The challenge

As a provider of the highest standards of medical care since 1893, St. Vincent’s Hospital takes pride in being able to adapt to groundbreaking techniques and technology. So, when their paging system began to have issues they sought an innovative solution to increase staff efficiency.

As is the case with many hospitals, a large number of messages and alerts are generated at St. Vincent’s every day. This runs the risk of staff experiencing alarm fatigue from too many buzzes and beeps.

Due to the critical nature of the communications, St. Vincent’s needed a reliable system to ensure relevant information would be delivered to the right individuals on time.

The solution

St. Vincent’s Hospital selected Spok clinical alerting solution, Spok® Messenger. The software integrates with the hospital’s Rauland-Borg™ nurse call system as well as multiple fire panel systems to automatically send alerts to staff on pagers, mobile phones, and DECT phones. For example, when a patient pushes the nurse call button located at the bedside, a message is automatically sent to the nurse assigned to the patient. The notification includes the type of alert and the specific location of the patient, allowing the staff member to quickly attend to the request.

Spok Messenger is also used to manually send pages to staff throughout the organization by logging into the system on a computer.

“There will be a place for paging for quite a while in healthcare settings because there are certain staff roles that are just a great fit for these devices,” said Kathryn Harbinson, Telecommunications Manager for St. Vincent’s Hospital. “[Spok] Messenger meets our needs by allowing us to message to both mobile phones and pagers.”

[Spok] Messenger meets our needs by allowing us to message to both mobile phones and pagers.

– Kathryn Harbinson, Telecommunications Manager

The result

With the software’s added efficiencies, St. Vincent’s continues to excel as an industry leader. Now caregivers only receive alerts that are relevant to their job and messages are prioritized based on the type of alert. This eliminates unneeded interruptions and helps relieve alarm fatigue among the staff.

Additionally, when an emergency code occurs, messages are sent to code groups within the Spok Messenger system, which often contain numerous device types. This enables code groups to rally quickly in emergency situations.

Self-sufficiency at St. Vincent’s has increased with clinicians having the ability to send messages via the web. “Our staff caught on to using the system quickly because the software is intuitive, efficient, and reliable, which gives peace of mind in knowing messages will always be delivered,” said Harbinson.

The future

St. Vincent’s is continually looking for ways to improve efficiencies and enhance patient care. In an effort to do so, the hospital is evaluating Spok’s operator console and secure smartphone texting solutions with integration among all the systems.