While pagers are still used by doctors and nurses, other communications devices such as cell phones, text messages and emails are changing how medical personnel are contacted in emergency situations.

When it comes to people working in the medical industry, the idea that doctors and nurses are slaves to their pagers is a thing of the past. While beepers are still commonly used in the medical industry, they are now just one of many different communications tools that medical professionals use to stay connected with call center dispatchers, hospital operators and others in order to be available to provide emergency services.

There is no one communications method that is the perfect solution for medical professionals. A state-of-the-art virtual call center utilizes the wide range of communications models available to ensure that the right people can be contacted quickly in order to initiate potentially life-saving procedures. Here are some of the communications platforms which go beyond beepers that are used by medical professionals today.

Cell phones: According to a recent study by the wireless industry group CTIA, more than 90 percent of all Americans use cell phones. The percentage of doctors, nurses and other medical professionals who use cell phone technology is even higher. A medical answering service can automatically dial a cell phone in case of an emergency so that a patient can get connected to someone for emergency help at any time and have an immediate, two-way conversation.

Text Messages: During natural disasters and other wide-scale crisis, cell phone systems could become damaged or so flooded with calls that it’s impossible to use. However, the SMS system used to deliver text messages to cell phones and other mobile devices is much more resilient and less prone to overload. Having a virtual receptionist send messages to doctors, nurses and EMTs via text message during major events ensures they will get to the right people.

Email Messages: The rises of iPhones, Blackberries and other “smart phones” has made it easier than ever for medical professionals to receive instant email messages no matter where they are. Even without an Internet connection, doctors and nurses can receive faxes, charts and other email attachments which could be vital to their current tasks.