flag outside room door so staff can be found


We are a small hospital with limited funds to purchase staff tracking technology (device that turns on a light above the room door so you can see when a staff member is in the room). Anyone have any ways of "flagging" a room so it is easy to see from down the hall when a staff member is in the room? I looked at the mounted metal flag sets that you can flip a colored flag up when a certain staff member (RN, LPN or CNA) is in the room-good idea but for our 24 rooms it would still be several hundred dollars. It would be money well spent as we waste alot of time hunting for staff going room to room but does anyone know of anything else even cheaper than that?


28 Posts

The hospital I work at uses staff locator devices. It is a small device that nurses and techs wear like they do their badge. Through a centrally located monitor on the unit a staff member can be found any where they are in the hospital. Hil Rom provides them.


54 Posts

How about walkie talkies?

mmm cdiff

121 Posts

Specializes in Pediatrics.

We use Voceras where I work. As for how effective it is... eh. They're very quirky devices that are great when they work, but a nuisance when they're on the fritz. They're also a little pricey ($400 apiece, I've heard), and people tend to take them home since they attach to your ID badge.

rn/writer, RN

17 Articles; 4,168 Posts

We have magnetic items that we stick to the door jambs of rooms where patients have special needs. A mom who has lost a baby will have a leaf with a tear drop on it. On other floors, patients have different items that indicate fall precautions or other needs to give staff a heads up. You could give each nurse a magnetic item with her name (individualized so that Sandy is a blue flower and Jill is a star, etc.) that they can put on the jamb when they enter a room. Easy to keep in a pocket and definitely inexpensive. Remembering to put the magnet up might take some getting used to, but after a week or so, everyone should be familiar with the system.

dudette10, MSN, RN

1 Article; 3,530 Posts

Specializes in Med/Surg, Academics. Has 12 years experience.

You up for creative and cheap ideas?

What about a simple, flexible plastic sign holder that you can make color-coded flags out of construction paper, then laminate them and distribute to the staff?

This online site has 100 of them for $9.85.


Staff members could keep a flag in their pockets, and then stuff it into the slot attached to the door jamb when they enter the room. They stick out from the wall, so you would be able to see them down a hall.

tokmom, BSN, RN

4,568 Posts

Specializes in Certified Med/Surg tele, and other stuff. Has 30 years experience.

We have a call system/locator that turns green for an RN on the light outside or orange for a CNA. We also have Vocera and like the other poster said can be a pain in the rear.

How about small phones? The only problem with that is if a nurse is in a sterile procedure they couldn't answer the phone or it would ring endlessly.


169 Posts

Specializes in NICU,MB,Lact.Consultant, L/D. Has 31 years experience.

we use SpetraLink phones. That way you can just call who ever you are looking for and say "where are you". The HUC's use them to communicate to us when the patients have called out as well.

klone, MSN, RN

14,409 Posts

Specializes in OB-Gyn/Primary Care/Ambulatory Leadership. Has 17 years experience.

If it's a small unit, is it really necessary?


71 Posts

You could always use simple dowel rods with some sort of flag on it poked into a little piece of wood with a peg hole. The problem would really probably be getting people to remember to use it though.


169 Posts

Specializes in NICU,MB,Lact.Consultant, L/D. Has 31 years experience.

You wouldnt think SpectraLink would be "necessary" would you. We have 3 LDR's and 10PP rooms. When you are the Labor nurse and something "happens" it's not practicle to go room to room looking for help. Often there is no one at the desk either. In addition you can use your phone to call the MD from the room to come.

Can you tell I love the phones?

klone, MSN, RN

14,409 Posts

Specializes in OB-Gyn/Primary Care/Ambulatory Leadership. Has 17 years experience.

If something "happens" couldn't you just pull the emergency cord next to the bed? In our OB unit where I used to work (11 pp rooms and 5 LDRs) we had emergency cords in the bathrooms, and emergency buttons next to the beds. All the nurses, as well as the CNA and the unit secretary, knew that if the emergency cord was pulled, you came running, regardless of what you are doing or where you are. I'm surprised you don't have that. I thought all units and all rooms in all hospitals had some type of emergency alarm system at the bedside. It seems so unsafe to not have a system like that!

In a unit that's fewer than 20 beds, I would just question whether it's necessary to have something more than that. There's got to be a creative, inexpensive way to deal with it.

Where I work now (22 pp rooms and 8 LDRs) we all carry cell phones, and the unit secretary programs the rooms to the cell phones. Even with that, if someone pulls the cord in the room, an alarm sounds and all the nurses come running. If I'm dealing with a PP hemorrhage or a precipitous delivery, I definitely don't waste time calling my charge nurse or the front desk - I push the emergency button!