Inefficiency of Pagers and Lack of Adoption of Secure Text Messaging Cost the Average U.S. Hospital more than $1.7 Million Annually

New Report from Imprivata and Ponemon Institute Finds Secure Communications Solutions Improve Care Coordination during Patient Admissions, Emergency Response Coordination and Patient Transfers

Lexington, Mass.—July 9, 2014—Inefficient communication during critical clinical workflows such as patient admissions, emergency response team coordination and patient transfers costs the average U.S. hospital about $1.75 million annually, according to a new report from Imprivata® (NYSE: IMPR) and the Ponemon Institute. Titled “The Imprivata Report on the Economic Impact of Inefficient Communications in Healthcare,” the report finds that a significant amount of time is wasted during these workflows—primarily due to the inefficiency of pagers and the lack of adoption of secure text messaging. The report also finds that the use of secure text messaging could reclaim more than half of this wasted time, and minimize the economic loss.

“Efficient communication and collaboration amongst providers is critical to the coordination and delivery of patient care, especially within an ACO where quality is impacted in part by the promptness of care delivery,” said Dr. Thomas Kloos, executive director for the Atlantic Management Service Organization, which includes the Atlantic ACO, part of Atlantic Health System. “The results of the Imprivata and Ponemon study highlight the pressing need for more effective communications solutions, which we’ve addressed at Atlantic Health System with Imprivata Cortext. This gives our providers a robust tool for increasing communications efficiency across our entire ACO network, which improves provider productivity, reduces unnecessary patient readmissions, increases clinical integration within the ACO and most importantly, allows patients to more quickly receive the care they require.”

The “Imprivata Report on the Economic Impact of Inefficient Communications in Healthcare” surveyed more than 400 healthcare providers in the U.S. to identify areas of communications inefficiency in three specific clinical workflows: patient admissions, coordinating emergency response teams and patient transfers. Respondents agree that a significant amount of time is wasted during each workflow due to ineffective communications, primarily due to the inefficiency of pagers (as cited by 52 percent of survey respondents) followed by the inability to use text messaging (39 percent). Respondents also think that the use of secure text messaging could increase productivity, estimating that it could help reclaim about half of the wasted time.

“Our research reveals a number of interesting findings about the impact of inefficient communications on provider productivity and patient care. For instance, patient admissions and transfer times are often inefficient because of the use of pagers and other outdated technologies,” said Dr. Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder of the Ponemon Institute. “The research reveals that providers believe there are more effective methods of communication that can improve patient care and reduce costs.”

“This study confirms what I experience first-hand as a physician—inefficient communications has a significant impact on clinical workflows and patient care coordination. Pagers and other outdated technologies are no longer effective, and providers want more efficient, effective solutions for communication and care coordination,” said Dr. Sean Kelly, chief medical officer at Imprivata. “Technology should eliminate, not create, barriers to delivering effective patient care, which is why clinical and IT staffs need to work together to implement solutions that enable fast, efficient communication to improve provider productivity for better focus on patient care.”

Imprivata will host a webinar featuring Dr. Larry Ponemon to discuss the findings and implications of the “The Imprivata Report on the Economic Impact of Inefficient Communications in Healthcare” on Thursday, July 10, 2014 at 1 p.m. EDT. To register for the webinar, please visit:

Supporting Quotes:

“In an ACO environment, one of the required competencies is the ability to quickly coordinate amongst the various providers, including both the process teams as well as the critical clinical decision makers. As the Imprivata study reveals, this is simply not feasible if we continue to rely on inefficient technologies,” said Dr. Sawad Thotahil, vice president of performance improvement at New England Inpatient Specialists. “As the survey also indicates, secure text messaging can greatly improve communications efficiency for a variety of different clinical workflows and processes, and the shift to more advanced solutions like Imprivata Cortext can help reduce complexity and allow providers to spend more time with patients.”                                                

“The ability to communicate efficiently is central to providing optimal care to patients. However, care team members are more mobile than ever, moving from patient to patient and between care settings. Paging remains the norm in many institutions, but this interruption-driven process is time consuming and error prone, and it takes clinicians away from their patients,” said Lynne Dunbrack, research vice president for IDC Health Insights. “Secure text messaging can address these challenges by pushing communications, alerts and notifications to their mobile devices wherever they are. Improved clinical communication can achieve workflow and process efficiency gains, resulting in increased patient satisfaction and potentially significant cost savings for healthcare organizations.”

About Imprivata

Imprivata is a leading provider of authentication and access management solutions for the healthcare industry. Imprivata’s single sign-on, authentication management and secure communications solutions enable fast, secure and more efficient access to healthcare information technology systems to address multiple security challenges and improve provider productivity for better focus on patient care. For more information, please visit

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