NORTH CAROLINA – Doctors and nurses are seeing unprecedented highs in morale and productivity three weeks after Our Lady of Perpetual Dispo Hospital installed a new paging system. While at most hospitals this would not be cause for celebration, the small North Carolina-based healthcare system has taken a unique approach: once per day, each registered user of the paging system is allowed to send a special page to any other user of his/her choice, which will deliver a three-second burst of 30,000 volts of electricity directly into the hip of the wearer.
“I can’t get enough of these new beepers,” said experienced floor nurse Jill Hackman. “Whenever the cross-covering intern mouths off to me about how little I know my stuff, I wait until thirty minutes after he goes to the call room, and BAM! Taser to the groin.”
“I love that the pages are anonymous,” added second-year surgical resident Mike Coole. “Whenever my attending chews me out in a case, I can zap him in the cafeteria.” He added, “Watching a 60-year-old jerk attending crumple like a sack of potatoes while carrying a bowl of scalding-hot soup has been the greatest experience of my residency.”
After just ten days with the new system, hospital administrators were reporting record highs in Press Ganey scores related to politeness and efficiency. “It’s amazing,” said CFO Bill Richardson. “Everyone is so nice now. It’s been two weeks since a doctor accused me of being a soulless bean counter.” He went on, grinning from ear to ear, “And the last time it did happen, I gave that bastard a 30,000-volt piece of my mind at 2 AM the next night. I heard the old codger kicked into a-fib.”
While most personnel seem happy with the new system, not everyone feels the same way. There have been a string of complaints, almost 90% of which were generated by emergency room doctors, regarding the sheer number of shocks they were receiving from consultants. The hospital has responded by adding a system by which consultants can only shock-page an ER doctor by receiving a 5,000 volt shock of their own, thus ensuring that only warranted shock pages are sent.
Having noted the successes of their competitor’s new system, nearby hospitals are already making plans to install their own versions of shock-paging. RVR Memorial Hospital has purchased a batch of pagers equipped with needles capable of jabbing the wearer in the thigh, while across town, Kaiser Roll Hospital has switched to pagers which release a small refillable container of fire ants into the pants of the user. Each hospital reported that doctors and nurses are salivating for the go-live dates.
At press time, Our Lady of Perpetual Dispo reported that, after overwhelming numbers of unsolicited requests, they were considering requiring all hospital administrators to wear a pager.