Doctors in the UK must ditch their pagers and use WhatsApp-style messaging instead. The Irish Sun reports that this is according to Health Minister Matt Hancock who wants outdated technology banned and replaced by smartphones by 2021. He said hospitals need to join the 21st century like everyone else.
The report says one in ten of the world’s pagers – around 130,000 – are used by the National Health Service (NHS) to alert medics to emergencies. Each device costs around £400 – with the health service’s total bill coming to £6.6m a year.
As well as the needless cost, the report says Hancock warns they are much less effective than smartphones. Officials claim in tests, doctors saved 48 minutes – and nurses 21 minutes – per shift by using their smartphones instead.
Hancock said: “We have to get the basics right, like having computers that work and getting rid of archaic technology like pagers and fax machines. Email and mobile phones are a more secure, quicker and cheaper way to communicate and allow doctors and nurses to spend more time caring for patients rather than having to work around outdated kit.”
The report says that Hancock had earlier said that doctors must stop sending “snail mail”. He said using email instead will make it faster and safer for Brits to get medical results and appointments – saving lives.
The report says UK hospitals and GPs have lost more than 500,000 patient letters over five years.
[link url="https://www.thesun.ie/news/3788753/doctors-must-ditch-pagers-and-use-whatsapp-style-messaging-instead-health-secretary-says/"]The Irish Sun report[/link]