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Sensor-based Hospital Staff Detection and Monitoring System

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Capstone and Design Projects

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.1365.1 - 26.1365.14



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Paper Authors


Ahmed S. Khan DeVry University, Addison Orcid 16x16

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Kulsoom Ahmed is pursuing a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering Technology at DeVry University, Addison, IL 60101.

William Herner is pursuing a B.S. in Electronics Engineering Technology at DeVry University, Addison, IL 60101.

Ryan Moser is pursuing a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering Technology at DeVry University, Addison, IL 60101.

Christopher Olejiczak is pursuing a B.S in Electronics Engineering Technology at DeVry University, Addison, IL 60101.

Andrezej Rybarski is pursuing a B.S in Biomedical Engineering Technology at DeVry University, Addison, IL 60101.

Dr. Ahmed S. Khan is a Senior Professor in the College of Engineering and Information Sciences at DeVry University, Addison, Illinois.

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William Peter Herner


Christopher John Olejniczak Devry University

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I spent four years in the Marines after high school. I then enrolled at Devry to pursue a degree in biomedical engineering technology. I have always been interested in electronics and how they work.

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Kulsoom Ahmed

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Sensor-based Hospital Staff Detection and Monitoring SystemThis paper describes the design and implementation of a senior project based on sensortechnologies to monitoring staff in a Hospital environment. In a hospital setting, it can bechallenging to monitor how many people, be it visitors or hospital personnel, are in a patient’sroom at any given time. This project attempts to solve multiple aspects of potential improvementwith regard to hospital room entry, exit, and the subsequent monitoring of occupancy. There are three main problems that today’s current hospital room access lacks. First arethe obvious security concerns that can arise when the hospital staff does not know who is in apatient’s room. Hospitals have strict visiting hours and it is not always possible to know whensomeone might enter a room out of that time frame. Second, knowing where the closest nurse ordoctor is on a floor can often make an enormous difference should an unexpected medicalemergency occur. Nurses and doctors are very busy and it is often not immediately knownwhich room they may be in. Finally, room entry in and of itself can be hazardous. If a nurse iscarrying heavy equipment into a dark patient room, through a heavy door, it presents a veryserious slip and fall incident. This paper describes the approaches used to sovle all of these issues by developing asingle point access and monitoring system. Using individually coded RFID tags and motionsensors, the system makes it possible to know not only if someone is in the room, but if thatperson is a doctor, nurse, visitor, or other hospital staff. Additionally, it allows for hands freeaccess into a room while simultaneously providing a light for safe entry. The paper covers the details of a system that mounts above the inside and outside of eachhospital room. The LED occupancy indicators are located on the outer box, color coded toidentify specified roles. A microcontroller was designed that would be able to receive inputsfrom an RFID module and ping sensors through I2C communications and interpret that data toperform required tasks. Each RFID card is programmed and identifies a specific person –doctor, nurse, visitor, etc. As a person passes through the door, the RFID module recognizes thecard, sends the data through the PCB, where it will then activate the corresponding LED,indicating which type of person is now in the room. The ping sensors work in conjunction withthe RFID module. As a person is detected by the outer sensor, the software will wait for theinner sensor to be activated, which will send the signal that someone has entered the room.Conversely, if the inner sensor is activated, followed by the outer sensor, the signal is sent thatthat person has exited the room. The paper also describes three additional functions that have been incorporated tocompliment the main task of monitoring. First, is the ability to automatically lock and unlock, orpotentially automatically open and shut the door. When the sensor recognizes that someone isapproaching the door, the MCU will send a signal through a low voltage controller which willoperate the 120VAC supplied mechanism. This provides hands free access to the room. Next isthe system function to activate an internal light for safe, illuminated entry into the room. This isaccomplished similarly to the automatic door. The MCU will again be notified of an 1approaching person and will send a signal turning on the 120VAC powered light source. Finallyis the capability to integrate with the hospital’s CODE BLUE system. When activated by aperson inside of the room, the system will process the signal and activate a flashing blue LED onthe outer panel, notifying which room the CODE BLUE is taking place. By integrating all ofthese functions into one device, it is now possible for hospital staff to know, simply by viewingthe room’s access panel, who is in that room. It allows for safe, hands-free access. And mostimportantly it integrates seamlessly with the hospital protocol and allows the hospital staff tofunction more efficiently with respect to patient monitoring and response. The paper covers the details of the design of hardware and software components of thesystem. Furthermore, the paper explores the characteristics of “constructivist ” and “deeplearning” enhancing/learning methodologies, inherent in teamwork, that allow students to gainnew insights and competencies for enhancing their problem-solving and analytical thinkingskills. 2

Khan, A. S., & Herner, W. P., & Olejniczak, C. J., & Ahmed, K. (2015, June), Sensor-based Hospital Staff Detection and Monitoring System Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24702

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