University Health System chooses Spok to improve communications for 1,600 clinicians

Spok announced that University Health System (UHS), a nationally recognized academic medical center and network of outpatient healthcare centers in San Antonio, Texas, has selected its enterprise suite of communication solutions. The Spok on-call scheduling, secure texting, critical test results management, and hospital call center solutions will allow the rapidly growing organization to increase staff efficiency and enhance secure communications. As part of the rollout, UHS plans to provide the Spok Mobile secure texting app to 1,600 physicians and residents.

“Doctors constantly need to talk to each other,” said William Phillips, chief information officer, UHS. “In today’s healthcare environment the demand is growing for secure communication on a variety of devices. We needed a secured, protected communication solution for our physicians.”

With a Level I trauma center and a partnership with the University of Texas Health Science Center, UHS had a number of communication challenges. The operator group, which handled more than 300,000 calls per month for the 720-bed hospital and more than 20 provider groups, was using time-consuming, manual processes for scheduling and contacting staff. The hospital did not have an automated, secure system for delivering critical test results and other patient information, and communication among physicians was inefficient.

As the organization grew, budgets continued to rise due to staff time wasted on manual administrative tasks and communication breakdowns. “It was the ongoing headache every month, not having accurate on-call schedules, and physicians calling to say they couldn’t find other physicians because the system wasn’t updated. We realized we needed to do something different. When we started looking at the big picture, it was obvious Spok was the best fit for us because it could offer all the solutions we needed in one platform,” said Phillips.

Now all 1,600 physicians and residents will be connected via Spok Mobile, giving staff the ability to communicate and send patient data and messages securely. There will be an automated, protected process for delivering critical test results, and physicians will be able to connect and consult with each other quickly and easily. These new, integrated solutions will provide better communication and efficiency, benefiting staff and, most importantly, improving patient care.

“I cannot get this system up fast enough. The whole organization is extremely excited about it. It’s a tool that has been needed for a long time. We were looking for one vendor that could supply the technology we wanted in one platform. Spok was able to provide that,” Phillips said.

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