Nurse Lojack System

  1. Our facility is implementing a new call light system. Nurses will be required to carry pagers, beepers, and cell phones to answer call lights.

    Rumor has it they (the powers that be) plan to log our response time, how long we are at each bedside, how long we are at the nurses' station, how long we are in the break room, bathroom, etc...

    Now, I am a good nurse, and logistically, I am not worried. But I guess theoretically I am opposed to all of this (too "Big Brother").

    Anyone else out there use this system? I am trying to keep an open mind... your thoughts/input appreciated.


    "Don't double the salt" -- My Mom
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  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   micro
    we already almost use that system where i work.......

    i hate big brother watching me, but then on the other hand........

    if you got a great team and unit............it will make you shine or it will be a big point to management that it can not all be done within their parameters...............

    nursing, we will get this all together sometime
  4. by   NurseDennie
    They had that at the hospital I used to work. I was there when they implemented it. The big "selling point" was a story (which I didn't believe then, and I still don't believe) about how a hard-working, scrappy and honest nurse was written up in a lawsuit brought by a bad, rude and undoubtedly drug-seeking behavior-ing patient that he had rung the nurse button and she NEVER CAME...

    Story is, square-jawed, handsome and brave administrator got out the computer records, proved what time the scummy, opportunistic patient pressed the call bell and what time brave, intelligent nurse entered the room, and *heroically* STOOD UP for the NURSE. (emphasis mine - and cynical)

    Poof!!! - lawsuit disappears. Hugs and kisses ensue.

    The system at this hospital was all tied in with the intercom system. Theory was that you could go to any of the intercom units and press the wheel and see where any of your coworkers were. You'd highlight the name of the person you needed, and you would intercom that room only. That never worked either. Whenever I did that, it usually only showed one or two nurses and techs out of the crew on hand of at least 7. I sure hope the administration didn't rely n records from that system to decide if we were wonderful nurses!!!

    We wore a badge that was also supposed to turn off the call light when we entered the room, thereby saving us about 1 step from bedside to intercom unit. Light above each door had a red light, a yellow light, a green light and a white "N". The colored lights were for flagging orders. The "N" would blink when the patient pushed the call button and would shine steady when the nurse was in the room, and supposedly turned off when the nurse left.

    BTW, when I worked there, I had an apron/belt sort of affair with a lot of pockets. My shoulders were getting so sore from carrying so much weight in the pockets of my scrubs and jacket!

    Love

    Dennie
  5. by   moonrose2u
    i worked at a hospital that also had that system...however, those log sheets were printed out by the communications center at the end of every shift, and administrations' computer could search criteria on each and every nurse...avg. length of time he/she took to respond (over period of many shifts or just one) avg length of time spent in the restroom, number of trips to restroom, length of time in nursing station, it goes on and on..i know, we heard that a lawsuit was averted because hospital could prove the nurse was doing her job and responded appropriately to pt when summoned...however:
    in my opinion, this system is an infringement of privacy where the nurse is concerned. because the logs on each employee were in her file, and the nm could use the log as a reason for terminating her..."you only get 2 15 minute breaks...on such and such day, you visited the restroom 4 times during your shift in addition to your breaks" (never mind the nurse had a horrible case of diarrhea)

    if hosp. administrators want to keep their nurses, and keep them happy, they need to reconsider this system...i feel that even more nurses will leave the bedside if this catches on throughout the country...

    don't know if it means anything, but the hospital that implemented this system i worked for, was catholic...and i know one other catholic health system that also adopted it.

    wonder why...
  6. by   live4today
    I worked at a hospital once where that system was in place, and hated every minute of it. Talk about losing one's sense of autonomy and respect as a professional! HA!
  7. by   canoehead
    I disliked the idea when it was initially presented to me as a staff nurse but after using it liked it as it was easier to find people and the advantages of proving you were in the room Q15min.

    After considering the disadvantages re how long or how often I went to the bathroom or on breaks I left my little badge at the nurses' station during those times and was "charting" Of course my coworkers could see/know where I actually was and could find me, but Big Brother was none the wiser.

    Why not have a "bathroom board" at the desk where everyone who was on break could stick their badges and pick them up once they returned? Or have the person covering for you wear the badge until you come back.
  8. by   PediRN
    Aren't we supposed to be professionals? Do engineers and doctors have tracking systems? Strikes me as BS in a big way.
  9. by   it'sallbueno
    Glad to know I'm not the only one out there who thinks this Lojack system has a high potential of being a huge code brown...
  10. by   susanmary
    I believe the "nurse lojack system" is less about lawsuits and more about monitoring/trending staffing. I never say never -- but I would NEVER stay at a facility that stalked a professional's every move. I'd hand in my notice the day the "system" was implemented. Period. Absolutely.
  11. by   TELEpathicRN
    we used this system at a hospital that I worked at, but admin didn't print anything off (to our knowledge) about how long we were in rooms, etc.... said they just used it for cases where people said that nobody ever came and checked on them and it was an easy way to locate a nurse/cna if you needed them.
  12. by   I1tobern
    I'm with pedirn. No other profession has to be "tracked" in the hospital, why should nurses? Just my two cents.
  13. by   NICU_Nurse
    I don't understand why these people have to insist on making things so demeaning and complicated. My suggestion: Have a felt board at the nurse's station (or a central location; on our units, the nurse's station is waaaaaaaaay out of the way) and every room has a segment of the felt board. This can include the break room or the bathroom or a segment for 'off the unit' (ie, we go to pharmacy, etc.). Each nurse and tech gets a card with a velcro back (make 'em out of index cards or something similar) on it that will stick to the felt board. When you have to go to the bathroom, take your card and slap it onto the bathroom segment. On your way back, you're going to the patient's room now, walk past and slap it onto the room segment. Before you leave for lunch, slap your card onto the 'lunch' or 'off the unit' segment. It's easy as pie (once you make the board) and it eliminates even the hassle of a marker board, as you don't have to even pick up a pen and sign your name on it or erase and re-sign. Just walk by, slap it down, keep going. Whaddya think? I think it would eliminate a whole lot of hassle, as well as get past that whole 'someone is watching me' issue. I mean, really, when you get down to it, the biggest concern should be finding the nurse when you need one. Think of it: A busy med/surg floor. Doctor at the station. Where's nurse so-and-so? One quick look at the board and the question is answered. If you're answering the phone, and someone asks for Nurse Smith, you just look up at the board and realize, 'Sorry, she's at the bedside right now' or 'Sorry, she's off the unit at the moment' instead of having to patrol the hallways and peek into every room trying to find her. ;>) Just my two cents. We don't need this on my unit (NICU- one big room, hard to hide!) but if I did need one, I'd sure make on up lickety-split. Just a thought.
  14. by   Sleepyeyes
    Hmmmm... let me think about this....

    they trust us with narcotics, needles, the devices to track us, expensive medications, medical equipment, honest documentation, ethical behavior, and patients' lives....

    but not really, because we hafta be tracked q second....

    doncha think this corporate mysogyny is just a tad over the top?

    Reminds me of when I worked convenient stores. The cameras were not there for the protection of the cashier, as I naively imagined upon taking the job. They're pointed squarely at the cash register to monitor employee theft.

    BTW, our facility uses cellphones--judiciously--because the monitor person can answer call lights, but can't leave the monitors. So if someone's bed alarm goes off, or if someone develops a dangerous rhythm change, we can be notified stat. It's used properly and it's very effective.
    Last edit by Sleepyeyes on Jun 17, '02

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