Paging etiquette and good practice

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    Using the paging system thoughtfully can make a very big difference to effective communication.
    An environment in which staff are constantly interrupted in their work flow is a major cause of inefficiency,
    distraction and has adverse effects on patient safety.

    Do you really need to page someone?

    • Could the matter wait until the ward round?
    • Could you use the Electronic Medical Task Function in EMR?
    • Don't use the telephone system for paging unless you have no access to a PC
    • Don't call switchboard to page someone unless you really cannot track down
      the name/number of who you need to page via a PC.

    When you do send a page  - think carefully about the content of the message.

    Sending just a number (+/- a name) is very inefficient for the recipient

    A good paging message contains

    • The main message
    • The name, role, and location of the person who is paging
    • An indication of the urgency
    • A number to call back if needed
    • An indication of the need for the recipient to call back

    Below are some example paging messages.
    The first 3 are poor, while the second 3 are much more appropriate.

    5438

     

    bad

    Please call 5438

     

    bad

    Please call Jane 5438

     

    bad

    Please call Jane RN 3E 5438 about an unclear drug order. Within 30 mins please

     

    good

    We have 2 fluid orders to be rewritten in room 4 thanks. Not urgent.
    Jane RN 5Main 5438

     

    good

    Colin McDougall's parents here for next 2H - keen to talk with you. Jane RN 5Main 5438

     

    good