The aim of this study is to describe the process of staff and patient adoption and compliance of a real-time locating system (RTLS) across two health care settings and present lessons learned. While previous work has examined the technological feasibility of tracking staff and patients in a health care setting in real-time, these studies have not described the critical adoption issues that must be overcome for deployment. The ability to track and monitor individual staff and patients presents new opportunities for improving workflow, patient health and reducing health care costs. A RTLS is introduced in both a long-term care and a polytrauma transitional rehabilitation program (PTRP) in a Veterans Hospital to track staff and patient locations and five lessons learned are presented from our experiences and responses to emergent technological, work-related and social barriers to adoption. We conclude that successful tracking in a health care environment requires time and careful consideration of existing work, policies and stakeholder needs which directly impact the efficacy of the technology.
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