Half of Nurses at Eden Medical Center Refuse To Wear Electronic Locator Devices
About half of the nurses required to wear electronic badges as part of a nurse location system at Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley refused to wear them this week, the San Jose Mercury News reports. About 60 Eden nurses no longer wear the personal locator devices, which the hospital uses to track the location of nurses and monitor their response times to patient calls, according to the Mercury News. Nurses objected to the badges because they said that the hospital can use the devices to listen to their conversations through an intercom feature. In addition, nurses have raised concerns that managers can use information from the devices against them in disciplinary cases. "You don't need a Big Brother looking over your shoulder," Annette Bearden, an Eden nurse who has refused to wear the device, said. However, hospital administrators said that they do not use the badges to listen to nurse conversations and that they only the devices to record nurse response time, which the hospital has tracked in the past (Reang, San Jose Mercury News, 9/6). In addition, Eden administrators said that nurse response times and patient satisfaction have improved since the hospital implemented the system (Tate, Contra Costa Times, 9/6). "This system allows the nurse to receive the call immediately and respond quickly," Cassandra Phelps, an Eden spokesperson, said, adding, "The whole point of this was patient satisfaction." The hospital implemented the $275,000 system on two floors in October, and administrators plan to expand the system to a third floor (San Jose Mercury News, 9/6). "This is where technology is going, and there is no turning back," Phelps said (Contra Costa Times, 9/6).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.