Not long ago, Nurse Jo wrote an article about the installation of RFID tracking devices on ID badges in her facility. This is highly disturbing, as is the discussion supporting the use of smartphones at the bedside.
I would like to elaborate further on my comments as posted under Nurse Jo’s article:
I see lots of problems with all of this. RFID signals are also used to transmit information on things such as your credit cards to allow a thief to steal your identity. Also, since any and all computer systems can and have been ”hacked,” the same problems arise with HIPPA protected data which can be transmitted via smartphones.
RFID signals can be blocked with certain metals and can be completely disabled with a strong magnet, such as the type that is still used to test pacemakers or an MRI.
Electronic devices such as tracking badges also can be victims of “accidents”–dropped in the toilet, stepped on, lost in the elevator shafts, etc. Repair or replacement costs money. Those devices with access codes may be stolen by someone who wants to get into a restricted area, such as the nursery or pharmacy.
I would ask what this data set is to be used for, but I think that we all know the answer. What happens when you must eat lunch in the nurses’ lounge? Or if you must leave the facility to transport a patient to another hospital?
Also, tracking of personnel is a violation of personal privacy rights. Does everyone in the system wear a tracker? Administrators and doctors, too? And who sits and monitors the movements of personnel all day? Who gets the reports? What do “they” do with the information?
I think that we can all pretty well figure THAT out.
This also costs lots of money which should not be spent by facilities which receive federal tax dollars in the form of Medicare/Medicaid. It just SCREAMS “Big Brother.”
George Orwell is probably rolling over right about now.
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