A recent report compiled by research company HIMSS Analytics revealed that replacing pagers used by nurses could save healthcare organizations tens of thousands of dollars each year. The report centered on research conducted at 200 hospitals in the US with more than 100 beds, in which 69.9% of nurses used pagers to communicate with physicians and colleagues.
Researchers found that the average cost per pager per user was $8.40 per month. Therefore pager use by nurses alone in a “Top 50” medical center in the U.S. (850 beds+) would cost each hospital around $54,835 per year. The figure would be considerably higher if physicians and personnel employed in IT departments also retired their pagers.
As part of the study, researchers spoke with senior executives responsible for the selection and management of the pager systems. Many said that the “perceived reliability” of pagers was the primary factor in retaining pagers as a channel of communication, although many acknowledged that pagers had their limitations – especially when it came to slowing the cycle of communication.