Nurse Tracking Device

  1. I just want to get others opinions on this subject. I searched on here and saw where there were some old threads regarding this topic but I wanted to start a new one.

    The hospital in which I work started using a tracking device system called Responder 5 about 2 years ago. The staff wears a tracker that has "Versus" on it. I have no problem wearing something that shows that I am working and doing my job because I do just that. This system has a light over the doors of our rooms and the light indicates who is in the room, the CNA, nurse, LPN, etc. I work night shift and we have had ongoing problems with these trackers. First of all, it is supposed to cancel our call light when we walk in the room of the patient calling. It does not work half the time. Then we can be in the rooms giving meds, turning patients, etc. and come out and the light was never on. I have had this happen several times.

    With our tracking devices, if they are turned backwards or not pinned up on your shoulder area, they do not work. In my opinion they can be a huge failure and not mistake-proof unless you are constantly making sure it is turned right. If the battery dies you most likely won't know until someone notices your light is never coming on or if your director pulls your tracking report and confronts you saying you have not been in your rooms. If you are on the "get rid of list" you will get fired over this. I have seen many get fired or written up over their tracker and in some cases it has been the battery is dead.

    I feel that the facility I currently work in is so focused on these trackers and it has made everyone very nervous. I know when I go in my patient's room I am constantly wondering, "Is my light on outside the room?" It is almost to the point you cannot provide the care you need because of worrying about "not being picked up in the room." Also with our unit they are worried about call lights and we must answer them in a certain amount of time. Well the tracker is supposed to cancel the light when we go in the room. Most nurses take for granted that the tracker is going to do just that and it doesn't which then sends the light into "overtime" and then we have to explain to the nursing supervisor just why did our light go into overtime.

    I understand the fact that my facility wants to ensure great patient care but I feel that this tracking device is not the solution. I feel that there needs to be a much more
    mistake-proof tracking system. We have a lot of issues with being in the room and the sensor never picks us up. I have tried to discuss with my director but I get a answer like, "have the battery changed". I have had my battery changed along with my co-workers several times and still nothing changes.

    I just want to see what everyone else thinks and if anyone else has the same issues with this system.
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  2. 21 Comments

  3. by   jadelpn
    Wow. I have not heard of this system, however, wouldn't one's documentation suggest that they are in a room in order to scan meds, when one documents personal care, and the like?

    Not to mention video cameras everywhere, can't that back up where a nurse is at any given moment?

    I swear the patients would get "excellent patient care" if management spent less time on gadgets and trying to "catch" nurses not doing their jobs, and more time providing sufficient staffing.

    Please tell me that there's a "light" over your break room that goes off when ya'll get your lunch breaks, or over the bathrooms when you get a bathroom break......or the never taken 15 minute paid breaks......didn't think so......
  4. by   iluvivt
    I know there are industries that track their employees such as delivery companies and such but this is way overboard in my opinion. I bet not one of the mangers would want to to wear one. I think they are adding undue stress on you in an already demanding profession and believe this is another, Let's make the patient and all their relatives and friends happy so we do not lose a dime" consequence . Really now.... how many professionals get treated like children as much as nurses do! It is one of the most egregious and offensive behaviors of nursing management that I despise! I can't say what I really would want to do with that tracker but if I was forced to wear one to keep my job I would purchase my own long acting batteries ..then I would make sure when I entered the room the call light would signal as OFF.. then I would unclip it and wave it just below the sensor until it registered (IF IT FAILED) and if I had to put the call light on before I gave care ...I would do that too . So you must always check that it is on before you give care and Off as you enter. Yes you will fussing with technology but you have to find a way to make it work because it sounds like management is NOT listening to your real concerns . When I find this to be the case I find my own personal solution.
  5. by   caliotter3
    I recall when the first such device was introduced years ago, there was an article in the local paper making a big whoop de do over it, because the first hospital to use this contraption was there. I read the article and made a mental note to make certain that I never went for a job at that hospital. What a crock she says.
  6. by   mmc51264
    We wear tracers and they can be about 15 (or more) minutes behind. If I am going form one room to another quickly, the HUC can never find me, which is frustrating because then we have to have "all calls" One time, it showed me in the bathroom for 45 minutes!!!

    It can be serious though, we had a pt complain that no one was ever in the room. I chart in the room (we have computers in the rooms). The tracing data showed that I spent a total of 7 minutes in that room for an entire 12 hour shift. I had management show how often I medicated (have to scan pt and medication, so if I gave meds, I was in the room). Good to have a back-up.

    I think it is better than having to carry a phone all day. When I was doing my capstone, my poor preceptor always got calls returned when she was in the bathroom!
  7. by   PA_RN87
    My facility also uses this tracer system. I kind of like the tags because it makes it easier to find staff when they're not at the nurses station, and the rare occasion that they do work to turn off a bell when you walk into a room. It also gives us something to stand on when a patient claims "nobody has been in their room for hours."
  8. by   EmergencyRN22
    So happy we don't have anything like that in the ER ...yet.
  9. by   ®Nurse
    My facility paid to send me to the Hill-Rom headquarters and evaluate this tracking package under the guise of hand washing compliance.

    There are chips that can be embedded in the employee name badge which will deploy a signal when you are within a certain proximity of a hand washing station outside of a patient's room. It will track if you deployed the hand washing gel dispenser before, and after being in the patients room.
    This technology also has the capability of detecting your where-abouts.

    Interestingly enough, the sensors can be set to record how often you were in the room, length of time, and if it was in response to a call signal.

    The managers I was with were racking their brains on how this could be spun to the staff to make it appear as beneficial to them.

    The obvious answer is to state that you have a back up for proof when a patient states you were not in a room.

    If you only knew the reports that could be done on the back-end. Oh. My.

    Your manager can dial up a block of time specific to your badge and run a report to show specific sensitivities up to five minute blocks of time.

    This report can be run retrospectively and concurrently, which means, if you are to do hourly rounding, your tracker badge will show whether or not you are doing that.

    This is not Big Brother.

    This is Big Brother's Big Brother.

    I am not a manager, and have never been. I just happen to be one of those people who land in the right place at the right time.
  10. by   excited1
    How about instead of spending all that money tracking nurses, they spend money to give each room their very own vital machine?!?! I am a student nurse and when I take vitals every 4 hours and then PRN before certain meds, there are only 2-3 on the entire unit. Drives me CRAZY. Can never find one when I need it. A classmate of mine found the CNA stashed one in the bathroom of one of the patients. Whaaaat? Lol. Lets spend the money on more useful things!
  11. by   SubSippi
    It's complete and total ********. I highly doubt that quality of care had improved since the implementation of these things, and they won't get rid of them because they make it easier to fire nurses. Nurses just slide them under the door, or leave them in a room for a few minutes them come out and chart. At least that's what happens where I'm at.

    I don't see anyone putting them on physician's badges to make sure they actually round on each patient, or spend more than 15 seconds in a room.

    Additionally, if it takes me 45 minutes to poop one day, then that's just how long it takes.
  12. by   Guttercat
    Last hospital system I was in (short term contract; large metropolitan area) had video cameras in every nook and cranny, and in many patient rooms. This included the basement. As far as I could tell, the only place I did not see a camera was in the bathroom...but even then...I wondered.
  13. by   Graduatenurse14
    We have the tracers but only one or two secretaries hand them out. Once I was wearing mine but it wasn't working so no one could find me. Where was I??? In that last patient's room they checked. It's not a big deal where I work. We have to sign stupid rounding forms Q1 hr for RN's and Q1 hr for the CNA's so the patients see one of us an hour . Most of the time, I forget and some people pre-sign the forms!! I swear, I gave the meds as scheduled and God knows I gave the sodas and snacks as did the CNA!
  14. by   kungpoopanda
    Quote from SubSippi
    It's complete and total ********. I highly doubt that quality of care had improved since the implementation of these things, and they won't get rid of them because they make it easier to fire nurses. Nurses just slide them under the door, or leave them in a room for a few minutes them come out and chart. At least that's what happens where I'm at.

    I don't see anyone putting them on physician's badges to make sure they actually round on each patient, or spend more than 15 seconds in a room.

    Additionally, if it takes me 45 minutes to poop one day, then that's just how long it takes.
    This. The myth that nurses are independent professionals is the biggest lie ever told.

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