Change Medicine Series: Pagers are an outdated technology !
Every doctor has a pager. A doctor may not have a stethoscope, but he will definitely have a pager barely hanging to his belt, waiting for a chance to interrupt the doctor’s life. But the question is: Do we really need pagers in the era of cell phones?
To answer this question, lets rewind our lives way back to the medieval times where the calls were handled by a messenger. There were no telephones, no pagers and of course no cell phones. The doctor on his on call day would not leave his house. A messenger would come to his house to let him know about an emergency. If the doctor had to leave his home, he will leave a trail behind for the messenger to locate him.
Then came the landlines. Now the doctors could be called on landline and summoned to the hospital. But this still did not negate the need for a doctor to be stuck in his house on an on call day. But technology eventually finds solution to everything. So pagers were invented. Pagers were an announcement of freedom for the doctors. They could go anywhere on their on call day and yet could be reached in a matter of beep beep beep. The doctor would then stop whatever he was doing, fine a land phone and call the number.
Then came the cell phones. But they did not get the same welcome as the pagers by the medical community. We decided not to dump our pagers but hang the cell phones next to them. Now we could play golf and still answer our calls from middle of nowhere.
But in my opinion pagers are a giant waste of time for physicians and those trying to reach them. Would you want me to prove it? Fine! Here is a 10 step process we all follow several times a day:
Step 1: The Beeper Beeps
Step 2: We let out a cry of despair
Step 3: We fumble to get the beeper from its holder on the belt
Step 4: We press the button on the beeper to look at the number
Step 5: We then fumble for the cell phone
Step 6: We dial the number on the beeper, with our eyes zig zagging between the beeper and the cell phone screens
Step 7: We talk to the person on the other line , asking him to find out who paged.
Step 8: We then wait frustratingly for the other person to appear on the phone.
Step 9: We talk to the person who paged us. Finally !
Step 10: We replace the beeper and the cell phone back into their respective folders.
Why we cannot cut this 10 step ritual of hospital calls to a simple three step process by dumping our pagers and using cell phones? Here is a 3 step process using just cell phone for your calls.
Step 1: The cell phone rings
Step 2: You pick up the cell phone and answer the call
Step 3: Hang up and holster it on your belt.
Life can be easy. Why make it difficult by sticking to old technology. We can save a lot of time by dumping the pagers in favor of cell phones. Whether its the pager or the cell phone, you will have to answer it anyways ! So make it easy on you and the person trying to reach you.
This is a ‘Change Medicine Series” article of CareerMedicine.com. Here we sound ideas to change common medical practices which should be changed. Do you have any such ideas? Leave us a note.
This post is republished as this topic is hot on KevinMD