Friday, May 2, 2008

Partners paging system includes new callback changes

paging systemMGHers using the Partners Paging Directory (PPD) will now be required to use a full, ten-digit telephone callback number when initiating a page. This change is due to the growth in the number of telephone extensions and building locations throughout Partners HealthCare resulting in duplications of five-digit extensions among hospital sites. For example, BWH and the MGH both may have the same five-digit extensions, such as 3-1234. Because there have been incidents when individuals have reached the wrong hospital when returning a page, this has become a matter of patient safety. The full ten-digit telephone callback number is now required to ensure that there is no confusion in the area code or exchange of the callback number.

To facilitate this change and remind users to enter ten digits, the callback number field in the PPD has been reformatted to include a separate area code box and seven-digit phone number box. (See example at right.) If users enter a telephone callback number that is fewer than 10 digits, an error message will instruct them to enter the full 10 digits. When users enter the first digit of the area code, the field automatically will fill in the appropriate area code. For example, entering a 6 will fill 617 into the area code box.

This change only affects the callback number field. The pager number remains five digits, and those being paged while on the MGH main campus will continue to be able to dial back the five-digit extension.

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