Electronic Patient Tracking

June 9, 2003
Posted at: 6:17 p.mm. CDT

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Bar codes and other forms of electronic tracking help businesses monitor inventory and sales. Hospitals are hoping they can help keep up with patients, too.

The Regional Medical Center at Memphis is taking part in a national study to find out.

The Med, which runs the region's main trauma unit, has an emergency room often packed to overflowing with patients from Tennessee, Arkansas and Mississippi.

Keeping up with them as they go from screening to treatment to admission or discharge is no small task.

Now, the Med is going to try wireless electronic tracking devices, ID bracelets with bar codes and other such gizmos to keep patients moving through the system more smoothly.

The Med has a $275,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to get the new tracking system going.

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