This blog series is about how wearables have become more than a passing trend and are truly changing the way people and organizations think about managing health. I hear from many companies and customers who want to understand how the wearables market is impacting patient care as well as some of the changes taking place with providers, insurers, and employers. In this series, I’m sharing some of their questions and my responses. This blog’s question is:
Are there applications for tracking employee movement or flow apart from wellness applications?
Yes, this is a fairly widespread and growing practice in healthcare – monitoring the location and movement of employees, patients, and equipment. So you know where the patient is, where the care team is, where the closest infusion pump is. The “wearable” in this case would be the badge with integrated active or passive RFID. This is typically referred to as RTLS or real-time location system.
I haven’t come across many healthcare organizations that monitor their clinicians; patient and medical device monitoring is more widespread. There are some privacy concerns with employees being monitored, but there are benefits such as easily locating the care team or adjusting workflow throughout the hospital. I suspect a growing number of organizations will deem examples like these to have high enough ROI to allow for the minor privacy intrusion.
What do you think? Have you seen a trend in monitoring medical staff?