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Geisinger Tracks Patients With Disposable RTLS Wristband Tags

The medical center is using CenTrak's low-cost wristband tags and TeleTracking's software to provide location information to patients' families and care providers, and to the hospital's cleaning staff.
By Claire Swedberg
Sep 28, 2015

Geisinger-Community Medical Center (G-CMC), in Scranton, Pa., is using disposable CenTrak wristband tags to provide patient location information to patients' families and care providers, as well as to its cleaning staff.

G-CMC's adoption of the disposable tags is not intended to save the hospital money, but rather to improve the quality of the stay for patients and their loved ones, according to Kelly Worsnick, a registered nurse and the operations manager of G-CMC's emergency department. "This is definitely about providing a service for our patients."

CenTrak's disposable tag attaches to the standard plastic patient ID bracelet typically used by hospitals.
Approximately 80 percent of patients who visit G-CMC's emergency department go home at the end of their visit. The other 20 percent are admitted to the hospital for overnight care, and might move from one area to another—such as to diagnostics, a patient room or a waiting area. It can thus be time-consuming for families or health-care providers to locate them. The CenTrak disposable wristband tag is intended to resolve that issue. What's more, the disposable wristband tag is more affordable than CenTrak's reusable version—especially since the permanent wristband tags are often lost, and the cost of sanitizing them after use is high.

Upon being admitted to the hospital, a patient is issued a disposable CenTrak tag attached to a standard plastic ID bracelet typically used by medical facilities. The unique identifier encoded on the tag is also printed on its front so that employees can input that number into the system to link it with the patient's other information in TeleTracking Technologies' TeleTracking software, which manages the tag data. The wristband tag also comes with a bar code utilizing that same serial number, enabling personnel to scan the bar code to enter the identifier as well.

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