University of Utah Health Case Study: Care Without Compromise

University of Utah Health, an award-winning health system with over 1,300 physicians in more than 150 medical specialties, has a mission to provide care without compromise. Go behind the scenes at University of Utah Health to learn how Spok Care Connect® helps them fulfill that mission.

University of Utah Health’s CIO, CMIO, director of emergency management, and communications services manager explain why Spok is such an integral part of University of Utah Health’s communications: It is a foundational piece of patient care, and anything that helps facilitate communication is benefiting patient treatment. With Spok Care Connect in place throughout the system, University of Utah Health has improved communication among clinicians and with patients, increased the efficiency of multiple departments, and sped response in emergencies where every second counts. 

“We absolutely have to have a secure encryption tool to communicate between our staff literally on a moment-by-moment basis.” 
–Jim Turnbull,
DHA, CIO 

Video Transcript

Allyson Tanner (Communications Services Manager): At the University of Utah Healthcare, we have over 1,300 physicians practicing in more than 150 medical specialties. We serve 10 percent of the continental U.S. We initially chose Spok because we needed an employee database, a web directory, an on-call system, and we needed something that would integrate our paging that would utilize one system where we could place all of our information and track all of our information.

Michael Strong, MD, FHM (Chief Medical Information Officer): Communications is one of the foundational pieces of patient care. Patients are really being more engaged in their care, so anything we can do that facilitates communication and keeps the patient up to date is benefitting their treatment over all.

Allyson Tanner (Communications Services Manager): We use Spok Mobile through many areas of the hospital. Our call centers rely heavily on Spok Mobile for the two-way communication between the providers and our call center agents. We use Spok Mobile at our information desk in the hospital, all of our nursing stations. Our Spok products have really helped us in our ability to deliver patient care quickly and efficiently.

Phil Chaffee, CEM (Director of Emergency Management): In an emergency, every second literally counts. Whether that be a patient with breathing problems, a heart attack, or in a scenario of violence (active shooter). Every second literally counts towards saving the lives of others around us, and being able to communicate quickly and efficiently, and communicate well, is of upmost importance.

Jim Turnbull, DHA (Chief Information Officer): The communications world is such a key piece of everything we are doing now, and it is going to be more so. We have to absolutely have a secure encryption tool to communicate between our staff literally on a moment by moment basis.

Phil Chaffee, CEM (Director of Emergency Management): Because of the two-way communications capability, when I page out my incident command team or others I need to respond, they can reply “got it,” “on it,” or whatever that response may be.

Michael Strong, MD, FHM (Chief Medical Information Officer): We have more and more data all of the time, and being able to assimilate that data, know that I am receiving all of the data that I need that enables me to make decisions for the benefit of my patients is absolutely critical.

Allyson Tanner (Communications Services Manager): Some of the results that we have seen from are Spok solutions are increased efficiency with our call center, better communication with our patients, better communication around our emergency pages, knowing for a fact that our responders are getting the messages and able to act appropriately. The nursing units that use it to page their providers appreciate that immediate response. It’s really an integral part of our communication plan.

Jim Turnbull, DHA (Chief Information Officer): The bottom line, we picked Spok because we needed a tool that does the function of secure communications and fast communications, and this is an answer that our staff are very pleased with. It’s not a “make Spok go away,” it’s “please give us more.”

Allyson Tanner (Communications Services Manager): We have a mission at the University of Utah Healthcare to provide care without compromise. Our Spok products have really helped us complete that mission.

Michael Strong, MD, FHM (Chief Medical Information Officer): We really put a premium on communication amongst the care teams, communication with the patients—all of that just helps to deliver exceptional patient care.