Why Paging Remains at the Core of Healthcare Communications

Paging software has long been the cornerstone of clinical mobile communications. Even today, no mobile communication technology is more reliable, survivable, and affordable than paging.

In recent years, smartphones and tablets have become an integral part of our daily lives. But even as mobile usage increases, paging's survivable architecture and cost effectiveness retains clear advantages over cellular in many instances. Today, more than 1 million subscribers rely on Spok paging solutions, especially within industries like healthcare where communication is paramount.

Paging physicians and nurses has never been easier thanks to today’s advanced paging software.

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Learn why pagers are critical to your communications»

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Spok Mobile code STEMI

Paging Can Complement Secure Text Messaging

Many healthcare systems today integrate pagers into their workflows and secure communications along with smartphones.

Spok Mobile® is an intuitive secure texting app that links to a powerful communication system. You can access your hospital’s full directory of accurate contact information; send secure text messages, images, and videos to smartphones and other devices; and ensure critical communications are logged—all with security, traceability, and reliability in mind.

Smartphones can work together with pagers. When hospitals evaluate communication technology, finding a partner that offers the ability to send messages to a variety of devices is key.

Key Features of Spok Mobile:

  • Secure receipt of page messages
  • Delivery receipts, response capabilities, and audit trail
  • Separate inbox
  • Wireless Messaging Engine (WME) group messages
  • Messages on both pager and smartphone
  • Hosted solution – no hardware to install

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Learn about the largest paging network in the U.S.

Discover Why Pagers Are Reliable and Flexible

Wide-area paging signals will penetrate through concrete and steel when a mobile phone signal may not. In addition, pagers:

  • Allow staff to share devices, especially valuable for code teams
  • Receive alarm notifications
  • Are durable, a benefit for professions that are harder on devices
  • Work when other technologies fail
  • Are powered by batteries that can be replaced during a power outage
  • Provide encrypted paging for HIPAA compliance
  • Are cost-effective
99.92% network availability for paging

Spok offers several cost-effective paging software solutions 

We’re proud to operate the largest one-way paging and advanced two-way paging network in the U.S. We work with organizations every day to help ensure their teams can communicate during any type of emergency, from code calls to disaster scenarios.

1 million paging subscribers
paging is part of a full communications platform

T5 pager with critical test alert

What’s the Difference Between Wide-area and Onsite Paging?

  • With wide-area paging, the transmitter towers provide service to all pagers in the area
  • Onsite paging means that the transmitters and terminals operate within a campus environment and function as a standalone paging system where devices work just at that location

Pagers Are Known for Their Unbeatable Security and Encryption

Did you know there are options for encrypted paging, including one-way and two-way encrypted pagers?

Spok offers the exclusive T5 pager, one of only a few pagers that offers this critical capability. This means protected health information (PHI) can be shared among staff on pagers and smartphones seamlessly. 

The T5 (one-way paging) and T52 (two-way paging) are among only a few wireless pagers now available that offer encrypted paging. With secure messaging capabilities and display-lock security features, these devices provide powerful tools for healthcare and emergency response communication.

CTA.pngFive Reasons Hospitals Value Encrypted Pagers

Get the guide

Benefits of T5 and T52 Pagers

encrypted message support

Encrypted Message Support

Uses industry standard AES-128* encryption algorithm

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Display Lock

Users enter a passcode to access messages

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Remote Data Wipe and Display Lock Clear 

Remote wipe of all messages and unlock capability

* Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) algorithm, 128-bit key

Send Messages as You Always Have

Device diversity is a powerful approach to effective, enterprise-wide communications. 

Many hospitals are maintaining their paging systems while adding other device types to the mix. Truly effective enterprise-wide communications need to send various staff members a single message and have it received on whichever mobile device they carry. 

Hospitals need a communication approach that supports their workflows. Smartphones and other devices can work together with pagers, as both can receive alerts from patient monitoring, nurse call, and other communication systems.

Having a communication system in place that can send messages to all team members regardless of the devices being used helps in effective care coordination at every step.

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Not Everyone Needs a Smartphone to Do Their Job

Effective care coordination relies on a communication system that can send messages to all team members regardless of the devices being used. Even physicians who may use their smartphones for some applications may still use pagers for workflow preferences such as being on call.

See What Our Customers Think About Paging in Their Hospitals

CTA.pngAndrew J. Geoghegan talks about the hundreds of messages their hospital sends seamlessly to pagers every day.

Read how Franklin Hospital uses paging and clinical alerting solutions

CTA.pngPat Black shares why pagers remain a useful part of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center’s device mix during emergency situations.

Learn about pager misconceptions and what’s fact or fiction

Why do healthcare organizations value pagers?

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Complements secure text messaging in workflows

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Not everyone needs a smartphone to do their job

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HIPAA compliance with encrypted paging

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Tried and true – and cost effective

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Works in disaster situations

Paging Delivers Reliable Communications When Disaster Strikes

Sixty-seven percent of CISOs believe a cybersecurity attack will happen to their organization (Ponemon Institute). This has healthcare leaders on high alert. To ensure your organization can withstand a disaster scenario, it’s imperative to review business continuity and disaster recovery plans.

Pagers have a demonstrated reliability in disaster situations and should be an integral part of your plan. Even if the power is out and Wi-Fi and cellular networks are down, AA battery-powered pagers mean it’s easy to remain operational and function independently of the power grid without needing to recharge.

Cellular networks have a well-documented history of failing in emergency scenarios. Why do they congest and fail?

  • Cellular networks are a mobile consumer and enterprise business
  • The infrastructure was not designed to handle the amount of congestion that occurs during a disaster
  • There is a well-documented history of cellular networks failing in emergency response scenarios

In these crisis scenarios, congestion rendered cellular phones nearly useless for emergency responders.

  • 9/11 in 2001
  • Minneapolis bridge collapse in 2007
  • Virginia’s 5.8 magnitude earthquake in 2011
  • Boston Marathon bombing in 2013
  • California’s deadly wildfires in 2017
  • Hurricanes Irma, Harvey, and Maria in 2017

"We are often asked “Why pagers?” It’s true they have been around for many, many years; however, during 9/11 and severe storms such as Hurricane Sandy, cell phone coverage in New York was intermittent, yet paging stayed up and we were able to keep our communications open."

Pat Black, Manager of Telecom Operations
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Why Spok for Paging in Healthcare?

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Online account management tools

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Network engineering support team deployed nationwide

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Dedicated support for medical, government, and major accounts

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Redundancy throughout network operations

Paging is Part of Spok Care Connect®

The Spok Care Connect platform integrates with existing workflows in your hospital. From the contact center to the patient's bedside, Spok Care Connect links directory details, on-call schedules, staff preferences, paging, secure texting, and a lot more.

How Does Spok Paging Work?   

  • Paging technology is 100 percent digital—not analog
  • Spok migrated Glenayre GL3000 terminals and encoders software to Commercial Off the Shelf hardware, thus extending the available life of the paging network well into the future
  • We use multiple satellites with transmitter sites configured in a checkerboard pattern for redundancy
  • Two-way satellite terminals (VSAT) with full alarming capability communicate to the Spok Technology Operations Centers

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Nation's largest paging coverage footprint

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Mulitple nationwide frequencies

CTA.pngLet’s See How the Pager Got Its Start

Take a tour through the history of paging

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