How a hospital got rid of passwords for nurses

Instead of typing in 16-digit passwords again and again during their shifts, nurses at a Pennsylvania hospital now just scan their badges.

Lehigh Valley Hospital–Cedar Crest in Allentown recently launched the Tap and Lock program on its medical-surgical unit — a nursing innovation unit — and two other departments, with plans to expand it to all workstations soon.

"Using badge readers is so much easier," said Lee Bowman, MSN, RN, a clinical informaticist at the hospital, in a May 10 statement. "It's a huge nursing satisfier and valuable tool that also improves patient safety and privacy."

In the past, every time a patient rang the call bell, the nurse would have to log off the workstation and then re-enter the 16-digit password upon returning to the computer. The hospital is part of Allentown-based Lehigh Valley Health Network.

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