OnPage News: Still Using Old-School Pagers?

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Article Courtesy of:  Sioux City Journal Why do doctors still use pagers?   The first pager was patented in 1949 for New York City doctors to stay in contact with the hospital. Countless “paging doctor” messages later, emergency workers are about the only people left still using beepers on a regular basis. But maybe not for long. “I foresee within two years, we won’t be carrying pagers anymore,” said Brenda Gabel, senior telecommunications technician at Mercy Medical Center Sioux City, where 650 pagers were used as recently as 2008. “We’ll be carrying smart phones instead.” These are humbling times for the trusty pager ­­ once a status symbol and safety net in an era of answering machines and pay phones. Sales plummeted as cell phones became affordable, of course, and now it’s possible to buy a pager on eBay for next to nothing. But there were holdouts, mainly first responders […] Read more »

OnPage: Smartphone Pager Replacement

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Why Do Doctors Still Carry Pagers? Article Courtesy of: Mental Floss Seeing a pager in today’s technologically evolved world is like spotting a hand-cranked car engine. In an era where the cell phone has replaced virtually every item in an old Radio Shack catalog, what’s the point of sticking with a device that hasn’t evolved in 20-odd years? For physicians, the answer is that an anachronistic messaging system may still be best. Even though pager use has dropped from 61 million users in 1994 to less than six million today, hospital employees are helping to keep this seemingly redundant device from obsolescence for two reasons. In an urgent-care situation, they may be more reliable than cell phone reception. Second, hospitals are in no hurry to upgrade telecommunications. “The feeling has been that in hospitals where the walls are shielded due to MRIs, cells phone aren’t universal,” says Fred Pelzman, M.D., an […] Read more »