What do hospitals use instead of pagers?

May 4, 2023 • 3 min read
Image credit to National Cancer Institute via Unsplash

Pagers have long been a staple of hospital communication, allowing doctors and nurses to stay in touch with one another while on the go. However, with the advent of smartphones and other mobile devices, many hospitals are now turning to more modern forms of communication.

One of the main reasons for the shift away from pagers is their limited capabilities. They can only send and receive simple text messages, and have no ability to transmit images or video. This can be a significant disadvantage in a medical setting, where visual information can be crucial to making a diagnosis or determining the best course of treatment. In addition, pagers are prone to interference and can be unreliable in certain areas, such as underground or in buildings with thick walls. This can make it difficult for medical staff to stay connected and receive important updates and alerts. Lastly, many carriers are removing support for pagers and decommissioning networks, making availability of pagers a challenge.

Secure messaging apps

One alternative to pagers that many hospitals are using is a secure messaging app. These apps allow hospital staff to send and receive messages and alerts on their smartphones, tablets, or other devices. They also often have features like group chat, file sharing, and the ability to send alerts to specific teams or individuals.

Nurse call systems

Another option that hospitals are using is a nurse call system. These systems allow patients to use a button or call bell to request assistance, which is then routed to the appropriate staff member via a device like a smartphone or pager. This can help reduce the need for pagers and improve patient satisfaction.


Other hospitals are using voice over internet protocol (VoIP) phones or radio systems to communicate with one another. VoIP phones allow staff to make and receive calls over the internet, while radio systems allow for real-time communication between staff members using portable radios or other devices.

Hypercare: A healthcare-compliant communication solution for healthcare teams

Hypercare offers a virtual pager & secure messaging app built for clinicians so there is no change in workflow, other than ditching the physical pager and replacing it with a smartphone app. You can confidently plug in a Hypercare virtual pager in place of your physical pager, and see a major improvement in convenience, reliability, and feature set. Learn more about Hypercare’s best-in-class virtual pager here.

While pagers may still be in use in some hospitals, it is clear that there are many alternatives available that can help improve communication and patient care.

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