There was a funeral in Japan this past Sunday. It was lovely, really, featuring a tent with an altar of flowers and a memorial display. The deceased in question? The pager.

The funeral was put on by the Tokyo Funeral Association in honor of Tokyo Telemessage, Japan’s last remaining pager provider, shutting down its services on October 1st, 2019. The memorial display features the number “1141064”, which is the Japanese pager code for “I love you”.

Funeral for a pager

When Tokyo Telemessage shut down, their subscriber base had dropped from a high of 10 million to about 1500. Most of the remaining 1500 were healthcare providers. In fact, physicians and EMS personnel account for the majority of people still using pagers in the era of the smart phone. There are two other notable exceptions according to How Stuff Works – nuclear engineers (for whom mobile phone use is hampered by thick walls) and bird watchers (who use pagers to get alerts about rare bird sightings).

In its 2018 annual “Mobile Strategies in Healthcare” report, Spok notes that pagers are still used in 56% of healthcare organizations. Even though the technology hasn’t really changed much since the 90’s, it makes sense in some ways. Pagers are reliable, especially in times of crisis when phone lines go down or in that back hallway on the fourth floor of the hospital where you can never get a good cell signal no matter how you contort yourself. It’s nearly impossible to steal PHI from a pager, and they’re certainly cheaper than a smart phone.

They are unfortunately limiting, however, because there’s no option for collaboration in one-way communication. So, if you’re a physician, you may get a page and then still have to find a spot with cell service to call whomever sent the page in the first place for follow up or trek down to the nurse’s station to find a landline.

Pagers are also on their way out in healthcare, if the UK is any indication. The NHS plans to phase out pager use in favor of other secure messaging platforms by 2021.

If you’re thinking it may be time to switch to a more modern solution, remember that effective collaboration is multifaceted. Here are some features to consider in a collaboration platform or secure messaging app:

  • Ideally, collaboration should happen in real time in a central location, allowing members of the team to see updates right away. On its face, the EHR can seem like the ideal place for this, but it’s not always easy to find the basic information you’re looking for without wading through endless notes and scanned reports. Being able to quickly access the most relevant information about patient status makes this process quick and efficient.
  • Any secure messaging app must be HIPAA compliant, of course, but it’s always good to look for tools that feature an extra layer of security, such as a HITRUST certification.
  • The best secure messaging apps and platforms have multiple mechanisms for delivery, including push notifications for smart phone users, text message alerts, and email alerts to ensure that users don’t miss anything. Speaking of not missing anything – ideally, users who send a message should be able to see if it was read or not.
  • In addition to a secure messaging app on a mobile device, a desktop option is great for those times when you’re stuck in the corner of the hospital with no service and for non-mobile users. Secure messaging and collaboration aren’t just a physician-to-physician thing – sometimes you need to collaborate with other practice staff. And let’s face it – you may know (or be) a physician who hates smart phones with the passion of a thousand fiery suns, so alternative options are always useful.

HybridChart is a secure, HITRUST certified rounding and workflow tool that features multiple options for collaboration and secure messaging. Visit our website today to learn more about how we can help your practice collaborate in a modern, effective way.

Meet EVOLVE by HybridChart – Our fourth generation software platform.

Take control of your entire workflow through a user-friendly solution created by a physician. Medical software too often fails to address the specific needs of providers. Rounding at one or more hospitals presents a unique challenge. There is the need for effective team collaboration and easy charge capture. Census management means true collaboration among provider and staff. Rounding at multiple facilities just got way easier.

Covering on-call now has the luxury of essential information for clean hand-offs. Charge capture takes less than five seconds. Diagnoses are easy to find and follow the patient. Customized charge menus make it easy to enter the correct charge. Don’t let billing for your work slow you down. Charge in real-time and focus on caring for the patient.

HybridChart has numerous levels of safeguards against missed charges. The Charge Checker feature will scan every day of an admission and assure there are charges. Using the Charge Matrix you have visibility of all charges from multiple providers per day for any given patient.

Most practices see a revenue increase of 8-10% after using HybridChart – attributed to capturing every charge for every patient. Charges are complex enough with just the diagnosis codes and charge codes. To make your charges accurate HybridChart allows you to easily adjust the Date of Service and assign Secondary Billers such as nurse-practitioners and physician assistants. Modifiers can be built into specific Billing Modules or choose from a customized list managed by your practice. Seamlessly navigate our Charge Capture workflow and save time without losing accuracy.

An automated charge capture system may be the most profitable investment that you can make in your practice today.

You can instantly boost your revenue by 10% using our modern, high-tech and easy-to-implement charge capture system.

Smarter Rounding and Workflow Software for Doctors

At HybridChart, we provide technology that connects your healthcare team, increases efficiencies, AND improves your bottom line. HybridChart’s cloud-based software adapts to your practice’s unique workflow and will improve your profitability and patient outcomes by utilizing our 5 features:census managementcharge capturesecure messagingdischarge management, and data analytics.

NEVER miss another charge and get PAID for the work you do!

If you are interested in taking your medical practice to the next level and want to employ the best hospital charge capture practice available in the industry, come visit our website at, or call us at 1-877-684-0608 for a demo today!

Kisha Crofts Author
Kisha Crofts is the Director of Product Management and Implementation at HybridChart. She has worked in medicine for over fifteen years, including roles in EMS, Cardiology, and clinical application management. She lives in Goodyear, Arizona with her family.
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