[ISN] Nurses Say Pagers Must Go; Hospitals Drag Feet

http://www.informationweek.com/healthcare/mobile-and-wireless/nurses-say-pagers-must-go-hospitals-drag-feet-/d/d-id/1204255 By Alison Diana InformationWeek.com 4/8/2014 Nurses and other healthcare workers who communicate vital patient information say they need an alternative to outdated pagers and insecure smartphones. At most hospitals, nurses are still required to communicate with colleagues and doctors via Voice over IP (VoIP) or pagers. But many nurses, who tend to be constantly on the go, are increasingly ignoring policy and are texting from their smartphones instead. This approach carries risks: Not only are the phones insecure, but they could also introduce germs into sterile environments. Pagers may be less risky, but they aren’t efficient. They cost US hospitals $8.3 billion in 2013, according to a report by the Ponemon Institute: $3.2 billion through time-consuming discharge processes and another $5.1 billion while clinicians waited for patient information (an average of 46 per minutes per day). Fed up with waiting for pages, nurses are taking matters into their own hands. Although 89% of hospitals forbid the use of personal smartphones at work, 67% of hospitals report nurses are using their iPhones, Androids, and other devices to support clinical communications and workflow, according to a new report by Spyglass Consulting Group. Hospital IT departments know nurses are doing this, but they don’t have the time or the resources to monitor their usage. Of the 53% of hospitals with BYOD programs, only 11% include nursing staff. […]