Healthcare Technology Featured Article

August 06, 2015

UHS Selects Spok to Improve Communications Efficiency Among Medical Staff

University Health System (UHS) announced recently that it selected a suite of communications applications from Spok specifically designed for the healthcare sector. The solutions are designed to address the often critical need for reliable communications in an environment where anyone could require life-saving treatment.

Springfield, Virginia-based Spok, Inc. provides communications solutions where the need is often urgent, such as EMS, law enforcement, or healthcare. Additional enterprise-level uses include hospitality, education, industrial, and casinos.

There may be few if any sites that would run Spok’s communications solutions through the proverbial wringer as UHS, a public teaching hospital based in San Antonio, Texas and owned by Bexar County. According to its site, UHS is only one of 15 Level I trauma centers in the state, and its emergency department has 70,000 visits annually. Its pediatric trauma center is highly regarded, and the hospital has the only burn treatment center for children in southern Texas.

Another case where a hospital used Spok communications solutions demonstrates how critical communications can be. Penn Medicine, a multi-hospital medical center in Philadelphia, needed badly to replace an aging emergency notification system. With over 13,000 employees there are several possible situations where a sizeable portion, if not all of these people would need to be alerted in the event of a natural disaster, security breach or other disruptive event.

The old system was not efficient as it required the use of multiple databases and separate notifications for email, phone, text, and paging. The new system from Spok, among other improvements, delivered the message through the right medium for each recipient, and as a result, the average response time was reduced by two-thirds.

What works well for the hospitals will work well in many other environments whether it’s the large office building that needs to evacuate employees because of fire; the law enforcement agency searching for an escaped inmate; or emergency medical service teams responding to a massive earthquake. Now that technology like that offered by Spok is available, there is no excuse for inefficiency when urgent notifications must be issued. 

Edited by Dominick Sorrentino

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