Improving communication in Level 1 trauma centers: Replacing pagers with smartphones

Bellal Joseph, Viraj Pandit, Mohammad Khreiss, Hassan Aziz, Narong Kulvatunyou, Andrew Tang, Julie Wynne, Terence O'Keeffe, Randall S. Friese, Ronald S. Weinstein, Peter Rhee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Introduction: Communication among healthcare providers continues to change, and 90% of healthcare providers are now carrying cellular phones. Compared with pagers, the rate and amount of information immediately available via cellular phones are far superior. Wireless devices such as smartphones are ideal in acute trauma settings as they can transfer patient information quickly in a coordinate manner to all the team members responsible for patient care. Subjects and Methods: A questionnaire survey was distributed among all the trauma surgeons, surgery residents, and nurse practitioners who were a part of the trauma surgery team at a Level 1 trauma center. Answers to each question were recorded on a 5-point Likert scale. The completed survey questionnaires were analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences software (SPSS version 17; SPSS, Inc., Chicago, IL). Results: The respondents had an overall positive experience with the usage of the third-generation (3G) smartphones, with 94% of respondents in favor of having wireless means of communication at a Level 1 trauma center. Of respondents, 78% found the device very user friendly, 98% stated that use of smartphones had improved the speed and quality of communication, 96% indicated that 3G smartphones were a useful teaching tool, 90% of the individuals felt there was improvement in the physician's response time to both routine and critical patients, and 88% of respondents were aware of the rules and regulations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. Conclusions: Smartphones in an acute trauma setting are easy to use and improve the means of communication among the team members by providing accurate and reliable information in real time. Smartphones are effective in patient follow-up and as a teaching tool. Strict rules need to be used to govern the use of smartphones to secure the safety and secrecy of patient information.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)150-154
Number of pages5
JournalTelemedicine and e-Health
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2013


  • technology
  • telecommunications
  • telehealth
  • telemedicine
  • telesurgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics
  • Health Information Management


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