Why the Doctor Beeper Is Still in Practice Today

Pagers became one of the most accessible tools for communication during the 90s and early 2000s. The US paging industry alone generated around 6 billion dollars in 2003. 

Previously, pagers were used as a reliable tool to send and receive vital information at the workplace. Firefighters, first responders, and emergency doctors all relied on pagers at the time, but usage declined in 2010. 


However, its usage in emergency settings was undeniably very important. There is a reason why a doctor beeper is still being used today and it may be a very long time before they are replaced as one of the most important tools during an emergency.

Why the Doctor Beeper Is Still in Practice Today
Image Source: Mental Floss

Old But Reliable Technology

While the rest of the world has moved on to using smartphones and other mobile devices to communicate daily, doctors, hospital workers, and emergency personnel still use pagers or doctor beepers. 

Everyone has a cellphone nowadays but why would a doctor avoid using the phone and prefer the pager instead? 


Nearly 80 percent of the hospitals all over the world still use doctor beepers or pagers according to the Journal of Hospital Medicine. It is not because doctors are old school or would prefer older technology that they’ve been used to using. 

There are far more important reasons why doctors, hospital staff, and many emergency responders use pagers as part of the essential communication tool.

Why Doctors Still Use Beepers

There is a reason why doctors still use pagers today. The hospital can be a dead zone for signals and mobile phone services. It is intended to be that way inside a hospital as certain areas need to be protected. 


X-ray rooms are padded with materials that block cellphone signals so they don’t interfere with the operations of the x-ray machine. Pagers on the other hand use a different signal than the ones used in mobile devices. 

A doctor beeper uses a specific yet very strong signal that can get through dead zones. This allows doctors to receive information in and out of the hospital in the fastest time possible without any barrier to how it is sent or received.

Why the Doctor Beeper Is Still in Practice Today
Image Source: MedicalDirector

Better Utility and Performance

In an emergency, hospital workers need to be kept updated at all times. This means that the information has to reach hundreds of people all at the same time. This can be increasingly tenuous for people to send the message as fast as possible. 

Creating group messages with the use of a pager helps with that. It is very easy to send a message to hundreds of people in just one go. Doctors can read the message just mere seconds after it is sent and anyone can respond immediately saving time and lives.

Battery life is also very important within hospital settings. Mobile phones tend to have a short battery life and can affect the way doctors do their job. Pagers on the other hand have a very long battery life and do not need to be recharged often. 

Confidentiality and Security Issues

Using mobile phones also create issues with security and confidentiality. Doctor-patient confidentiality is very important, and cellphones are far more vulnerable to security breaches/

Doctors can also avoid certain errors made by using mobile phones. Pagers are far more stable and have a more secure system in passing significant patient information.


A doctor beeper has the potential to save lives inside a busy hospital. It has been proven to be a key component for hospital workers and first responders. This is just one of the reasons why doctor beepers are still in use up to this day.