尋呼機不死

2013-07-17 02:49:24 作者:@ lisa 來源:http://www.fortunechina.com 點擊數:
關鍵字: 尋呼機

 

  手機出現之前,尋呼機簡直可謂是一項神奇的發明。要想與某人聯系,人們只需呼叫這個人的號碼,輸入自己的聯系信息,然后點擊井號鍵發送。尋呼機的主人在聽到嗶嗶的提示音后,就會給你回電。當然,手機的出現使得尋呼機基本退出了歷史舞臺。

但有一個例外,在醫療行業,尋呼機仍然在蓬勃發展。沒錯,許多醫生和護士仍然隨身攜帶尋呼機,不論他們是否帶著智能手機。這個現象很奇怪,因為醫療行業向來以使用尖端藥品和精密儀器挽救生命為榮。而就通訊方式而言,許多醫療行業從業者還停留在上世紀90年代。

 原因是多方面的。Frost&Sullivan分析師羅納德•格魯婭稱:“醫生們都戀舊。”不過,格魯婭也表示,許多醫院沿用過時的技術是為了省錢。為員工配備智能手機,空曠的醫療建筑內安裝保障手機服務的技術,這些要花不少錢。

尋呼機在1994年達到頂峰,當時尋呼機的保有量達到了6,100萬部。據格魯婭稱,這個數字隨后縮減到今天的五、六百萬部。這是他根據自身經驗做出的估計。Frost & Sullivan公司已于2006年正式停止追蹤尋呼機市場,因為這個市場已經變得無關緊要。

雖然尋呼機早已風光不在,但其實這種通訊工具還是有不少優點。它們體積小、重量輕,很適合塞進口袋或者別在皮帶上;而且也無需充電,只用更換干電池即可。不過,方便是相對的。一個顯而易見的不足是,尋呼機沒有電話簿。用戶無法判斷是誰在尋呼自己,除非發送方在信息中附上姓名。目前似乎沒人打算改善這一點。

低效的尋呼機帶來了高昂的代價。技術研究機構波耐蒙研究所(Ponemon Institute)最近的調查顯示,由于尋呼機及其它過時通訊技術,美國醫院每年蒙受83億美元損失,而且病人辦理出院手續的時間也大為增加。波耐蒙研究所調查了來自577所醫療機構的醫護人員,發現醫生、護士及其它醫療工作者每天會浪費45分鐘在低效的通訊系統上。

調查還發現,病人辦理出院手續的平均時間長達101分鐘,大大高于預期。大部分受訪者表示,如果使用安全短信,醫院有望把這個時間縮短一半。

不過,像大多數調查報告一樣,我們同樣應該對這份報告持保留態度。經濟損失是從少量調查樣本中推算出的。而且,調查由Imprivata公司資助,后者開發了管理軟件,可供醫院同時在桌面和移動平臺訪問病人病歷。所以,這份調查完全有可能是夸大事實,以達到推動Imprivata軟件銷售的目的。

   

 

    Pagers seemed like a fabulous invention in the years before mobile phones. To reach someone, all you had to do was call their number, enter your contact information, and hit the pound sign to send. The pager's owner, alerted by a symphony of beeping, would then return the call. Mobile phones, of course, eventually drove the technology to near-extinction.

 But pagers, in fact, continue to thrive with one critical constituency: the medical industry. Yes, many doctors and nurses still carry pagers instead of -- or in addition to -- smartphones. It is an odd reality for a field that otherwise prides itself on using cutting-edge medicine and sophisticated machinery to save lives. For communication, at least, many people in the medical field are stuck in the 1990s.

The reasons are many. "Doctors are creatures of habit," says Ronald Gruia, an analyst with Frost & Sullivan. But he also argues that many hospitals hang onto the outdated technology to save money. Equipping staff with smartphones and installing technology to guarantee cell phone service inside cavernous medical buildings is expensive.

Pagers reached their zenith in 1994 when there were over 61 million in use. Their numbers have since dwindled to around five or six million today, according to Gruia. His estimate is an educated guess. Officially, Frost & Sullivan stopped tracking the pager market in 2006 because of, well, its irrelevance.

Despite their obsolescence, pagers do have some advantages. They're small and light enough to carry in a pocket or on a belt. They also don't need to be charged. Instead, you just pop in new batteries. Convenience is a relative term, however. Pagers have no address book, for example. They also lack a way to easily identify those who page you unless the sender includes a name in the message. And nobody is working to improve them.

Such inefficiency comes at a price. Pagers and other outdated communications systems cost hospitals $8.3 billion annually in lost productivity and increased patient discharge times, according to a recent survey by the Ponemon Institute, a technology research organization. The survey, based on responses from 577 healthcare professionals, found that doctors, nurses, and others in the health care field waste around 45 minutes daily because of inefficient communications systems.

Additionally, hospitals take longer to discharge patients -- 101 minutes, on average -- than otherwise necessary, the survey found. By using secure text messaging, hospitals could cut that time by half, most of the respondents said.

 Granted, the survey, like many of its kind, should be taken with a grain of salt. The financial losses are extrapolated from a relatively small sample of respondents. Furthermore, the survey was paid for by Imprivata, a company that provides hospitals with software for accessing patient files from both computers and mobile devices. There's an obvious incentive to make the problem seem bigger than it really is to drum up business.

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