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The American Medical Association recently published a study 1 reporting that physicians spend roughly two hours on EHR and desk work for every hour physicians spend with patients.

In this study, Vocera Communications, in partnership with HIMSS Analytics, sought to understand how clinical and IT leaders understand and manage the rising challenge of interruptions from technology system sources such as phone calls, pages, texts, notifications, alerts, and alarms.

We surveyed 150 clinical and IT leaders via HIMSS Analytics Logic online and onsite at the HIMSS 2018 annual conference.


When looking at how technology affects patient care, EHRs get a lot of attention. But EHRs aren’t the only technology revolution frontline clinicians must grapple with. Doctors and nurses receive texts, pages, alerts, alarms, and interruptive phone calls on an array of mobile technology devices.

While new technologies have the potential to bring critical patient information to the right clinician at the right time, they also have the potential, if unmanaged, to create a cacophony of interruptions and data overload. This overload leaves physicians, nurses, and other care team members distracted, interrupted, and burned out.


  1. Introduction
  2. Technology-Related Interruptions Make Patient Care More Difficult
  3. Interruptions Occur Multiple Times Each Hour
  4. Measurement of Technology-Related Interruptions is Rare and Reactive
  5. IT Leaders View Vendor Usage Reports in Isolation – If at All
  6. Leaders Are Dissatisfied with Responsiveness in Identifying Interruption
  7. Frequency and Adjusting Workflow Design
  8. Leaders Want Measurement at Least Quarterly
  9. Interruptions Contribute to Burnout
  10. Discussion: What Clinical and IT Leaders Can Do
  11. Survey Demographics Data

Disparate communication systems using non-integrated devices can profoundly affect the clinician’s ability to get the right information at the right time to care for patients.

- Rhonda Collins, DNP, RN, FAAN Chief Nursing Officer at Vocera

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First Time Responders
  • 1 Sinsky, C., Colligan, L., Li, L., Prgomet, M., Reynolds, S., Goeders, L., ... & Blike, G. (2016). Allocation of physician time in ambulatory practice: a time and motion study in 4 specialties. Annals of Internal Medicine, 165(11), 753-760.

Solution Briefs

Get the consolidated, holistic insight you need to help optimize communication workflows, reduce clinician interruptions, and achieve clinical imperatives for improving patient care.

Frequent interruptions from technology-related sources such as phone calls, texts, notifications, alerts, and alarms add to the stress of physicians and nurses, and make patient care more difficult.

At the same time, measuring and monitoring the sources and frequency of interruptions across a multitude of clinical and operational systems has been an impossible undertaking for most hospital IT teams.

While IT and clinical leaders share the desire to reduce clinician interruption fatigue, it has been difficult to fix a problem they haven’t been able to accurately measure or understand.

Finally, there is a solution.

Help Reduce Clinician Interruptions and Optimize Workflows

Vocera Analytics is a monitoring and diagnostic tool that provides visibility to all traffic that goes through the Vocera Platform. A core feature of the platform, it offers a broad selection of intuitive dashboards and reports that enable clinical and IT users to quickly find the information they need.

Benefits include:

Reduce clinician interruptions: Identify the frequency and sources of interruptions from phone calls, broadcasts, texts, notifications, alarms, and alerts.

More effectively manage clinical communication workflows and processes: Pinpoint issues or gaps in call flows and workflows to identify areas that need to be adjusted. Identify delays in response to alerts, alarms, and code calls and optimize escalation paths.

Identify root causes of sentinel events faster: See the full picture of interplaying factors in one place, rather than compiling information from multiple systems.

Proactively identify infrastructure issues: Spot potential software and hardware issues in near-real time.

Optimize usage and adoption of Vocera technology and help demonstrate ROI: Track usage trends for all Vocera software and traffic from clinical and operational systems integrated with the Vocera Platform.

A Powerful Tool for Measuring and Diagnosing the Sources of Clinician Interruptions

Vocera Analytics provides a comprehensive view of communications traffic that goes through the Vocera Platform including voice calls and text messages, and alerts and alarms from clinical and operational systems.

Get a Comprehensive View of Communications Traffic

See all communications events in a single location with voice analytics and interruption statistics.

Voice analytics show usage statistics, escalation pathways, and inventories of devices and assets. They also show call details so you can distinguish between broadcasts, user calls, group calls, and more. You can even see the Vocera Genie commands people are using.

Interruption statistics show how often users were interrupted by voice activity, alarms, alerts, and texts, including the clinical and operational source systems of those interruptions. They provide insight to the efficacy of escalation pathways.

See Interruption Trends in Detail

Trended data allows clinical leaders to compare interruptions across units, measure success rates, and identify areas for improvement.

Customize Your Performance Metrics Dashboards

Monitor the sources of interruptions to drive continuous improvement in the ways that work best for your environment with a choice of up to 30 different dashboard types you can construct easily.

Generate and Interpret Analytical Reports with Ease

See detailed listings of communication activity events and workflows through 33 report types.

Enable Retrospective Analytics Reporting

Scalable enterprise-wide database with three-year data storage for retrospective analysis.

Software Requirements

A Vocera solution architect will work with your team to design and deploy Vocera Analytics to meet your diagnostic needs and workflow optimization goals.

The Vocera Analytics Server database requires the following software:

• Google Chrome version 63.0.0 or higher, Mozilla Firefox 57.0.0 or higher, Safari 11.0.0 or higher and Internet Explorer 11.0.0 or higher.

• Vocera Voice Server version 4.4.4 and later

• Engage Platform version 5.5 and later, with EMDAN version 1.9x and later

• Vocera Messaging Platform version 5.2.1 and later.

Hardware Requirements by Server Size

Vocera Analytics is scalable to support the needs of facilities of all sizes. Memory, CPU, disk space, requirements are different for small, medium, and large servers.

The size of your server normally depends on the number of users that reference it, and on the number of beds at your site. See Table 1 for more detailed information about data inputs for small, medium, and large deployments

Resource Type: Solution Briefs
Industry Solution: Healthcare Communication 
Products: Analytics 

Solution Briefs

Sometimes, the communication technologies healthcare leaders invest in to make care better for patients have the unintended side effect of creating hassles for care teams and frustration for patients and loved ones. Communication technologies unintegrated with the clinical ecosystem are a frequent cause of fragmented communication and workflow.

Communication methods that fall short include:

• Messaging apps and third-party unified communication apps that don’t work for the clinical environment because they don’t understand clinical roles, don’t maintain an up-to-date directory, and have gaps that cause calls to drop.

• Disparate systems and devices from multiple vendors that send unfiltered, unmanaged alarm and event notifications, and leave urgent notifications waiting in the EHR to be discovered.

• Solutions for patient and family communication that don’t enable nurses to communicate in a meaningful way with multiple family members in unison, resulting in more calls to the floor.

When communication and workflow technologies talk to each other, care team members can more easily talk to each other, too.
They can easily access and share essential information about patient care. They have control over patient-family communication, in a way that simplifies workflow and improves the experience for patients and families.


The Vocera Communication solution can optionally integrate with third party systems. This clip shows a nurse being contacted through the B3000 Communication Badge by a patient monitoring system.

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