IT Innovation Contest

A team-based contest for creative IT solutions

Using Smart Phone app as Pagers

Proposal Status: 

Description of Project:  ***Please note our proposal has been merged with the proposal***

Old traditional pagers are becoming obsolete as newer and better solutions come to market.  Currently the only way to reach UCSF physician’s on the move is via cell phone or pager.  With the rapid advancement of technology in today’s day and age, pagers have become a thing of the past nonetheless this is what we are stuck to use. We have found another, better, HIPAA compliant solution that combines the functionality of the traditional pagers with the power and convenience of a smartphone app.  Our smartphone app offers two way communication, group messaging and full audit trail capabilities.

Traditional Pager vs our App:

-          Our app will track when a message has been sent, delivered, received, read and replied. With Pagers, we only know that the message sent and hope the person gets it.

-          We can create a single device for all communication and eliminate pagers. 

-          With the app there is unlimited global 2 way messaging.

-          The app has the ability to send reply messages.

-          This app is HIPAA compliant with secure encrypted communication.

-          Our app supports rich content message and reply allowing hyperlinks in messages itself. Send phone numbers, email addresses, web urls that can be immediately clicked and opened when someone reads their message.

-          Our app is compatible with Android, Blackberry, Apple (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch).

Implementation: Immediate activation once users download, register and start using the solution. We contacted OnPage and were assured that for UCSF, the OnPage team would work with our lead project team to ensure the easiest transition possible. The accounts and ID’s can be created ahead of time and users can be given instructions on how to download and use the app.  Implementation would begin with the UCSF Department Orthopaedic Surgery and grow to the wider community,

Impact and Deliverables to the UCSF community: A more reliable, secure, immediate and convenient way to send critical messages out.  The UCSF community will be able to know immediately when a message they sent has been delivered and read allowing for reliability and full audit trails and logs of all messages sent. With the implementation of this system, users will be able to respond faster to situations and take real time actions- which in the healthcare industry could save lives.

List of team members and their role: 

John Houston – Project Manager, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery,

Erin Simon – Lead, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery,

Timothy Greer – Technical Consultant, Dean's Office, SFGH,

Estimated time devoted by each team member:  The team will require 20-40% effort during the ramp up and pilot period.


This is certainly a capability that many folks have desired, especially as the reliability of cell phones has increased and reliability of pagers has subsequently decreased. There are parallels with the ZipRounds Mobile Client project - I wonder if there is an opportunity for collaboration?

I agree with Enrique's comment. Dr. Raman Khanna has piloted ZipRounds at Mt. Zion, and a collaborative approach with him could be worthwhile. ZipRounds uses Salesforce Chatter as a means of tracking the pager "conversations" for the searchability and storing of messages. For this contest, he's looking at developing a mobile application. I suggest a meeting to review the ZipRounds pilot functionality and what is being proposed.

Indeed! Erin, I will email you separately as I think there is significant synergy between our projects and it may make the most sense to work on them together. If you're around now you can call me (415-476-4806) or else you can also email me ( and we can come up with a time to chat.

40 thumbs up! Pagers cost more than $30/ month! think of the potential savings!

There are already a few apps like this on the market, for instance this one:

Commenting is closed.