Badge Tracking for Nurses: Agree or Disagree?

I’ve heard of companies painstakingly tracking their employee’s movements.  From truck drivers to pharmaceutical reps, many on-the-go professional’s every move is monitored by administration.  Are nurses next in this tracking trend?

Recently, the hospital I work for implemented a trial program in which nurses wear tracking devices pinned to their employee badges.  Each time a nurse enters and exits a room the device notes entry and exit time forwarding this information to higher ups.  I have to admit, I really couldn’t believe what I was hearing when a nurse in the emergency department told me this was going on.  Are you kidding me?

I’m obviously against tracking nurse’s every move.  And it’s not because I’m one to hide out in the break room.  It’s no secret which nurses do their fair share on the floor and which could use a little added motivation.  Good employees stand out and those with lackluster performance aren’t hard to pick out.  Rather than over-regulating, administrators should simply reward nurses who do their jobs well and ask those who don’t to move on.

I’m a firm believer that people act in the manner you treat them.  Treating nurses like professionals is the best way to increase performance, to have employees who value their jobs and in turn do them well.  Implementing petty performance measures and methodically tracking nurse’s movements treats them more or less like children.  It conveys an attitude of distrust.  If you must place tracking devices on your employees to garner adequate job performance, the problem is rooted much deeper than a few nurses who aren’t doing their jobs.  Hospital culture is at fault.

Administrators must work to foster an environment of pride and hard work.  Guess what?  This doesn’t start by timing bathroom breaks.  Hospitals that track nurse’s each and every move will end up with a bunch of disgruntled, unhappy staff.

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Do nurses in your hospital wear tracking devices?  Do you agree or disagree with this move?

1 thought on “Badge Tracking for Nurses: Agree or Disagree?”

  1. I currnelty work for a hospital that is using the tracking device. Initially, it was met with resistance. A year later and the hospital is preparing to open another unit and is using the data obtained from the nurses tracking devices to design the layout. In addition, we are able to review our data individually and see our work flow. It has been helpful for organizing the day. In addition, we were able to identify certain patients with a higher acuity based on the frequency and total time nurses were spending in rooms. This allowed the manager to present the data supporting the additional nurse. Our attitude towards the device is nothing but supportive, which is a far cry from what it was a year ago.

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