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Tagging, Tracking Nurses Improves Workflow

Alexandra Wilson Pecci, for HealthLeaders Media, March 25, 2014

"Now they actually do the pumps between 2:00 and 4:00 am," Simmons says.

They've learned about staffing, too. For instance, nursing leadership has found that having less staff at night isn't always a smart move.

"There's very little difference between the amount of time that nurses are in patient rooms on this unit between days and nights," says Toor. "There's the thought that you can staff down on nights because there's not as much going on."

They're also starting to question the effectiveness of 12-hour shifts, as well as shift start and end times, based on patient flow and what the data tells them.

Such a program takes a lot more than nurses simply wearing the tags. Because Celebration Health is piloting this technology, they've gotten some of the equipment donated from the vendor, Stanley Healthcare. But there are other costs involved, too, and this year the hospital aims to determine the tracking program's ROI, Toor says.

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