Earth Day Gets a Tech Boost

Mobile phone makers are quickly adding more capabilities into newer cell phones that cost a lot less than previous low-tech versions. And that, says Rogers, is causing a glut of older phones that consumers are ultimately ditching as garbage. Her goal: To work with the cell phone industry to make it profitable to recycle the older technology, rather than just dump it.

-- Andrea Smith, ABC News

Electronic ER

There is something missing throughout a brand new hospital in the rapidly growing Fort Lauderdale suburb of Miramar, Fla.

It's paper.

This new, state-of-the-art, 128-bed hospital is among a new, national trend to build ultra-modern health-care facilities that use technology to reduce the risk of medical errors, while keeping costs down.

Walking into Memorial Hospital Miramar, near the edge of the Florida Everglades, is like walking into Circuit City. There are huge plasma screens everywhere. Digital, touch-screen monitors line the walls. Doctors and nurses use both to instantly review and update patient records. All medicine is bar-coded, so employees don't accidentally give drugs to patients meant for someone else.

Every room is private and decorated to look more like a hotel residence than a hospital. Featured in each room: state-of-the-art, flat-screen televisions; digital telephones; and even Wi-Fi throughout the entire complex. Patients and their visitors are welcome to bring laptops so they can work or surf the Web while waiting for tests and procedures. Patients are also invited to explore the hospital.

Each hospital gown has a built-in sensor, so patients can be tracked on a huge, real-time map of the facility.

"If the physician comes on the floor," explains administrator Ken Hetledge, "and the patient isn't in the room, we can see immediately see that the patient is down in the cafeteria having something to eat. It's like Lo-Jack for patients."

It's also a security measure. Sensors are temporarily placed in the belly buttons of newborns, so if someone attempts to remove a baby, the child can be tracked throughout the hospital, which will be instantly locked down.

The hospital is modern in other ways, too. A decontamination chamber was created, in part, by Israeli terrorism experts. And the building is fully expandable. Each hallway was built with floor-to-ceiling windows at each end, so additional wings can be added without knocking down walls.

Memorial Hospital Miramar cost roughly $150 million to build. Owner Memorial Healthcare Systems expects the hospital to pay for itself within the first year.

-- Andrew Colton, ABC News

Cybershake is produced for ABC News Radio by Andrea J. Smith.

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