In the news: Hospitals track nurses using GPS-like system

Stressed Out Nurses Weekly, December 1, 2008

At a time when budgets are slim, many facilities, such as Inova Alexandria (VA) Hospital, are on a search to increase nurse efficiency.

According to Medill Reports, a Northwestern University publication, nurse tracking systems are a booming market.

Each nurse wears a badge that relays his or her location to the front desk. An intercom system is placed throughout the facility, and when a specific nurse is needed, the front desk locates his or her position and uses the closest intercom to communicate a patient's needs. The system is said to save traveling time searching for nurses, and to be less disruptive to patients by eliminating generic pages over all the loudspeakers on the floor.

The system also reports how much time passes between a patient's call and the time it is answered. Proponents of the system say this will help better staff and increase quality patient care. Opponents say administration may use the tracking systems to discipline nurses with long response times, which will make the nursing profession even more stressful.

Source: Medill Reports


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