Will VA real-time tracking plan include employees?

Unions representing Veterans Affairs employees disapprove of the agency's real-time location system that may also track staff, reports NextGov.

Procurement documents state the real-time location system should have the "ability to track equipment, staff and patients at VA facilities (and the interactions thereof), with the objective of monitoring business and clinical activities." However a VA spokeswoman told NextGov there is no official plan for tagging staff. Union representatives from the American Federation of Government Employees, National Nurses United-VA and National Association of Government Employees object to tracking employees for reasons including compromised patient care and electronic interference from tags.

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Reader comments

Tue, Dec 20, 2011 Bruce

1) For Life-Safety, staff are not tracked until they feel threatened enough to press their wireless panic button. Tracking stops when they've received the requested assistance. 2) At-Risk patients oftentimes do not know where they are. Their caring VA staff monitors their whereabouts simply to ensure they are safe. Patients (and their families) agree before being tracked for their protection. It's about keeping patients and staff safe - when they've opted for their safety - nothing more.

Fri, Dec 16, 2011 Bemused

"Union representatives from the American Federation of Government Employees, National Nurses United-VA and National Association of Government Employees object to tracking employees for reasons including compromised patient care and electronic interference from tags."

It would allow the enforcement of Collective Bargaining rules (no more "extended breaks") verifying rounds are completed as they should be. Fear of interference and compromising patient care? Poppycock!!!!

Fri, Dec 16, 2011 JW DC

Who wants to wear a tracking device on them all day? If I was a veteran patient, I'd object---I wouldn't want my every move being tracked by some numbskull with a security monitor. Where are the veterans groups in all of this to protect us veterans? How did these guys get this far with this nonsense? Basically turning all of us into cattle that they can better keep track of, absurd.

Fri, Dec 16, 2011 Paul

I wouldn't worry too much about it. This all assumes the system will work. Roger Baker has mandated that the systems be Wi-Fi based. The VA doesn't have fully functioning Wi-fi systems in most of their locations, and those that do, likely won't have the capapbilities to handle the thousands of additional devices. Research has indicated that wi-fi based RTLS/RFID systems are the least successful, most expensive type. As with CoreFLS, SAM/Maximo, Wireless Inferastructure Upgrade and other large VA IT projects, this one is likely to collapse under its own weight.

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