Electronic communication technology has evolved at a particularly rapid pace over the past few decades. Many of our readers likely remember marveling at the novelty of pagers, for example. Although these devices were considered cutting-edge and the height of sophistication less than 20 years ago, they are now primarily used by members of the medical profession. Individuals not affiliated with heath care now primarily rely on cellphones, laptops and tablets for their mobile electronic communication needs.
There are many practical reasons why health care providers still rely on seemingly outdated modes of communication like pagers. These devices can convey concise, urgent messages in a rapid fashion and can be easily clipped to clothing without pockets. However, pagers and other older electronic communication devices may ultimately be compromising patient safety in the U.S.