U.P.M.C. is using Sonitor technology to identify to patients the different doctors, nurses and staff they encounter during their stays. The goal is to help patients keep track of their caregivers, something not easy to do if the patients require round-the-clock care from multiple doctors working different shifts. Each worker wears a tag smaller than a pager that emits a sound the IPS can detect when he or she enters a smart room. An ultrasound detector there reads the tag and identifies the staffer by name and job title, displaying the information on a flat-screen monitor at the foot of the patient's bed.
In this pilot phase, tags have been assigned to doctors, nurses, nursing assistants and phlebotomists as well as dietary hosts and hostesses. With about 5,000 physicians affiliated with U.P.M.C., including more than 2,300 staff physicians, IPS is expected to introduce efficiency, accuracy and familiarity in an environment where patients are often ill-informed and overworked doctors are prone to make mistakes.