Nurse tracking devices - page 5

How do you guys feel about wearing tracking devices on your person? Your location displays on a computer screen where you are at inside the hospital at all times. Thanks... Read More

  1. by   Mary Austin
    Ah yes, this is Big Brother at his finest. Not only do they track you but they tell admin how productive you are, where you are at each moment and if you have given a patient enough contact. They monitor your breaks and where you are at all times. Wait until they base your pay on how much patient contact you have, how long you spend with patients, at what time you checked that patient, etc. This "tool" may sound great to some but most do not know the dangers that it poses. Sure it is great to find your co-worker and track anyone and everyone. What happens when your monetary raise depends upon how much patient contact and how productive you are. Will your charting times match your patient contact? Can this be used in court to determine where you were and with whom you were with? Should be interesting! Perhaps it will track amount of time nurse spends with patients and how the patient should be billed for the nurses time (in the future, of course). Many uses but invasive. This can only be good for the company more than for the employee. The only benefit I can see is that we can find a patient's nurse or your co-worker.

    Yes, we have these tracking devices too. Most of the nurses just love them and think they are "cool". I do not think they are cool at all. Wait until they microchip you and see if you wash your hands each time! Yes, this device is in existence already. It can track you in the bathroom to see if you wash your paws before exiting that bathroom door! Of course we all wash our hands after potty! Big Brother is here....get ready for more of these "cool tracking tools" in the near future.


  2. by   Diahni
    Mary Austin,
    Wow, you are a demon typist, as I just posted! First, dogs get microchips, and then it'll be nurses. Every step of the way, the problem is nurses seem to be attached to the per diem cost of a room, as opposed to the many others who bill separately. With that attachment comes many bad things. What'll it take for everybody to come together to change the status of nurses that causes everyone to gripe? Money, patient load, unreasonable expectations, and now, Big Brother. With independence from the hospital comes autonomy, and being able to call the shots, as we should. The very first second I saw the little icons move on a computer screen (representing the nurses scurrying to and fro,) I got this sick feeling. Pacman with a stethescope. Sure, it's so people can find you - so why is it nurses are the only one with tracking devices? Oh, excuse me, prisoners have 'em too. I forgot.
  3. by   mianlica
    We have them on our unit. I like them. The call light automatically goes out when you enter the room so you don't have to crawl over the bed, chairs, tables, etc... to turn it off. I can go to the computer screen to see where all of my co-workers are. I hate walking around the unit looking for someone when they have a phone call or I have to ask them a question. These tracking tags help us work more efficiently, cuts down on steps and yelling someone's name to find them.
  4. by   WinksRN
    I think they need to end the nurse shortage before adding to the unattractiveness of our profession that others may see when viewing our profession, first have the available nurses to track. I mean do we really need to strangle the healthcare budget on a device that will help cover our buts against the spoiled brats of the world who think waiting 10 minutes for a nurse to return is too long of a wait. Other than that I think certain floors such as the E.R and Labor and Delivery are great to have for the device due to its high acuity.
  5. by   ZASHAGALKA
    If it were simply a matter of 'I've got nothing to hide' then I would still have a problem with the idea of being leashed like a dog. But it’s more than that. Hospitals don't spend a quarter million dollars just to make sure that you are doing your job, or to help you 'find' each other. There are simple and much cheaper ways to do that.

    This is sold as an efficiency tool. Buy our system and we can show you how to make your nurses more productive, requiring you to hire less.

    How this is done is by generating data about employee work habits and 'tweaking' those habits over time. (and "data" is hard to dispute. - The data shows you can handle 8 patients. How do you dispute that?)

    I'll give you an example. You wear the trackers and nothing is said for 6 months while you merrily go about your way. You're doing nothing wrong so you have nothing to fear about the system. In 6 months you have a unit meeting. "The data shows it takes on average 2min 42 sec to answer a call bell. That is now the standard. If it takes longer, that is an occurrence. 3 occurrences equal a verbal warning, 3 more a written warning." Ok, that's doable. But what do you think happens in 6 more months when everybody is busting their hump to beat 2min 42 seconds? That’s right, in 6 months, the time to beat becomes 2min 15 sec.

    This system is subject to ageism as well. What a 25 yr old nurse can do in the name of speed and speed alone, a 60 yr old nurse many times cannot. In reality, that 60 yr old nurse well compensates her lack of speed by her phenomenal amount of skill. A system that measures speed and NOT skill discounts those benefits.

    Now, what happens as people try to increase their efficiency by threat of negative consequences? If Mr. Jones has terminal cancer and needs pain meds but Mrs. Smith just hit the call button for water, the water holds at least equal priority as the pain meds. Both are measured equally. Not only THAT, since Mrs. Smith is likely to send in a negative response survey if her water isn't there in prompt and efficient manner, and since Mr. Jones will probably NOT complain from the grave, this system is DESIGNED to ensure that Mrs. Smith's needs are met first. When you place customer satisfaction as the PRIMARY method of evaluation, and back that up with a monitoring system that cannot distinguish competing priorities, you skew the perceptions of some clients as more important than the priority of others.

    If that doesn’t scare you, try this: I know of a hospital that hired Filipino nurses for 1/3rd of their med surg staff and adopted the tracking system at the same time. Not even 2 months later, they upped the pt/staff ratios from 5:1 to 7:1 (plus admits for sometime totals of 8-9:1). Why? Because “The Data” showed that the room/nurses station average time for nurses proved that this was consistent with safe care. Now the Filipino nurses are here at the grace of the hospital AND they are in many times unfamiliar with our culture and don’t realize this is a completely unreasonable expectation. So they are aboard (especially when the 1 that complained was promptly fired). Now administration has leverage with all the others (They can do this, are you telling me that you can’t? The data shows that you can. You just aren’t being a team player.)

    Finally, as you might know, data can be manipulated. If I don’t like you and I want to get rid of you, I can make ‘the Data’ paint you in a bad light, whether you have ‘nothing to hide’ or not. We live in a data driven, research driven society. It’s very difficult to refute data. (I’m sorry, but the data shows that you are taking too long in some rooms and not enough time in others. The data shows that you spend hours at the nurse’s station every day. The data shows . . . The data shows . . .) This has happened. At Eden Medical Center, where nurses turned their trackers in and refused to wear them en masse – the nurses only started refusing to wear the trackers when ‘the Data’ started to be used to terminate people.

    I have nothing to hide. But I’ll be danged if I’m going to wear a dog leash. I'll be danged if my patient advocacy and my professionalism takes a back seat to increasing efficiency for the express purpose of being able to short staff me. In fact, I quit over it. SOMETIMES, being a good employee is NOT the same thing as being a good nurse.

    Last edit by ZASHAGALKA on Feb 6, '07
  6. by   Batman24
    I am just in the process of applying to nursing school so I read this as an outsider. I was shocked to learn this was going on. It seems creepy and reeks of Big Brother. I also have a hard time believing that this is more for the nurse's convenience and for better patient care versus tracking where you are at all times and for how long. I don't see it as anyone's business how long I am in the bathroom.

    Years ago I worked for a big company that made you log out when away from your desk. One day a long term and excellent employee was longer in the bathroom than usual. She had a bad bout of diarrhea that came on after lunch. She was questioned on it the very next day in a very aggressive manner. This was a woman who hadn't taken so much as a sick day in years. She was an incredible employee who never slacked. She had an attorney write a letter and from what I understand the system was done away with shortly thereafter. Must have been some letter. lol
  7. by   WinksRN
    What happens if someone puts the device in one place while they go somewhere else, and maybe go somewhere else they really should not be because they have the TRACKING DEVISE as an alibi.
  8. by   nurseinlimbo
    Gee, I'm surprised that we don't have to wear them home too.....
    I'd never agree to wear one, not because I don't do my job but because if my employer doesn't trust me to do what I am supposed to do, then he should hire someone else, it's insulting to think that they have to monitor productivity this way when the shortage and overwork of nurses worldwide clearly shows that we are probably all working over capacity already.
  9. by   WinksRN
    What happens if someone puts the device in one place while they go somewhere else, and maybe go somewhere else they really should not be because they have the TRACKING DEVISE as an alibi.

  10. by   ZASHAGALKA
    Quote from WinksRN
    What happens if someone puts the device in one place while they go somewhere else, and maybe go somewhere else they really should not be because they have the TRACKING DEVISE as an alibi.
    I mentioned this before. I have seen employees place their trackers in pt rooms while they went out to smoke. . .

    Also, I have seen staff stand at the door and hold their trackers in a room just long enough for the system to 'track' that they answered a call bell, and then move right along. . .

    Or, just leave your tracker in the room of the pt always on the call bell for long stretches of time. . .if the tracker automatically turns off the call bell when it notes staff in the room, it serves to short-circuit those calls. Some systems note a call button being pressed when staff is in the room as a higher order alarm (staff calling for help): that just serves to annoy those at the desk that have been turning that light off all shift to more promptly turn off that alarm.

    Don't think only administrators can taint the data, if they wish. . .

    Last edit by ZASHAGALKA on Feb 6, '07
  11. by   ZASHAGALKA
    There was an old thread here where somebody suggested attaching their tracker to a remote control car and zipping it in and out of pt rooms with amazing efficiency . . .

  12. by   giRNfl
    A hospital I used to work for had the tracking system. We called it the nurse lojack. Our only worked on our particular unit, but it did know when we were in the bathroom or such. Most of us did not like wearing them & would "forget" to put them on or leave them at the desk. The tracking device would also cancel the call light when one of us entered the room. They could track how long it took to respond to a call bell & who was in the room & how long. It did save one nurse's butt when a patient claimed that she hadn't been in the room all shift. The hospital backed her up after checking the logs. But I have no doubt they would've just as happily used the info against the nurse. We also had to carry around a phone at all times. THe phone could be very convenient but also a nuisance because invariably you would get calls when you were starting an IV, bathing a patient, were in the bathroom or otherwise had your hands full. One particularly crabby unit secretary would yell at us if we didn't answer the phone when she called. The hospital also tried to get us to sign something saying we were responsible for paying $800 for the phones if they became damaged or lost. We all refused. You're going to require us to carry the phones but if we accidentally break one we have to pay for it? I think not. There are many reasons I don't work for that hospital anymore. Can you tell how much I miss it? LOL

  13. by   carlarn
    ha ha ha dog collars, leashes. what else in the animal world can we liken this to? how about a bell on a cat? would i wear one of these? probably not. i can get into enough trouble being in the wrong place at the wrong time on my own.