South Bay hospital uses a system straight out of Harry Potter

Unique patient tracking system saves time
Posted at 7:48 PM, Jul 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-13 22:48:28-04

A South Bay hospital is channeling Harry Potter to help save time and improve hospital stays.

“Keeping track of where all the patients are at any given time can be a challenge,” said Deanna White, Sharp Chula Vista’s Director of Acute Care.

That’s why they started using the Real Time Location System nine months ago.

“I thought it would be cool to know exactly where our patients were at any given time,” said White.

The system allows Sharp staff to track patients who are wearing a small sensor on their wrist. The computer program can track them on any floor anywhere in the hospital.

“We can look at the map to see exactly where you’re located,” she said.

It’s a modern version of Harry Potter’s Marauders Map, where the young wizard could see footprints of people throughout Hogwart’s Castle.

“I absolutely love this system,” said Karen Knoer, who’s in charge of the staff that transports patients around the hospital. “It makes my job amazingly easier.”

“It helps patients move quickly. You know patients don’t like to wait,” said White.

It also helps doctors, nurses, and family members find their patients faster.

Hospital staff can also analyze wait times to see if new procedures need to be adopted.

“We’ve seen so many benefits from it that I really envision that it’s going to expand and grow,” said White.

Right now, Sharp Chula Vista is the only hospital in San Diego County with a patient tracking system. It’s also one of the few in the country. Sharp is investigating to see if it wants to use the program in all of its hospitals.