The Hidden Cost of Pagers in Healthcare

Numerous studies have been conducted on the cost of HIPAA-compliant alternatives to the pager, yet little research has actually been conducted on the actual cost of pagers in healthcare.

Pager use is in steep decline. Pager services are being dropped by telecoms companies due to the lack of demand. Most industries have retired pagers long ago and have switched to smartphones. However, the healthcare industry lags behind.

Pagers are viewed by many healthcare decision makers to be a low cost method of communicating with healthcare professionals. However, this is actually a myth.

A recent study commissioned by TigerText – and conducted by HIMSS Analytics – has shown that the continued use of pagers in hospitals is actually costing the healthcare industry dearly. The study has shown that pagers are much more expensive than modern, HIPAA-compliant alternatives.

Pagers lead to inefficiencies, they cause much frustration among nurses and physicians, and lead to patient treatment being delayed. Even though the costs are higher and the devices cannot be used to send PHI without violating the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), over 90% of hospitals still use pagers.

It is surely time for healthcare organizations to retire their pagers and make the transition to more efficient and useful HIPAA-compliant alternative. The good news is that making that transition will also result in considerable cost-savings.

The results of the recent HIMSS study have been summarized in the infographic below.

The Hidden Cost of Pagers in Healthcare



Author: Richard Anderson

Richard Anderson is the Editor-in-Chief of