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      New tracking system at Crouse allows families to get updates on loved ones in surgery

      Technology at Crouse Hospitals allows families to monitor patient's progress in real-time.

      A new patient tracking system at Crouse Hospital in Syracuse provides families with real-time updates while their loved ones move through surgery.

      Each surgical patient has a unique ID number assigned to him or her, which is made available only to family members or whomever else the patient authorizes. As the patient moves through the surgical process, status updates - each clearly labeled with the patient's identifying number - appear on a waiting room flat-screen monitor in colored bubbles.

      The bubbles are color coded and denote various stages of the surgical process, for instance that a patient is in surgery or in the recovery area.

      Alice Matteson is waiting for her significant other to get out of his third surgery this year, but this time, she's a little more at ease.

      "This is something very new. I like it very much because it keeps you posted as to what's going on," says Matteson.

      The Director of Surgical Services, Jill Hauswirth, says it's also making the surgical staff more efficient.

      "We have really decreased the amount of phone calls between units because we can tell if the patient is on the way down," says Hauswirth.

      Recently, Bill Southworth has been in and out of the hospital, waiting for his wife of almost 50 years. He says this new tool will make him a lot more comfortable while he waits.

      "Look at a screen and know what status she's in. Is she waiting to go into surgery? Is she in surgery? Is there a problem in surgery? Looks like that screen will show us," says Southworth.

      Matteson is also grateful for the high tech system.

      "I think we live in a great time that you can have this kind of technology," says Matteson.

      Crouse is the only hospital in Syracuse right now to offer this services which is helping patient's families feel more comfortable in sometimes uncomfortable surroundings.