Abstract: A patient monitoring system includes one or more chassis, a plurality of patient care modules associated with the chassis, and a portable computer for communicating with, and controlling the modules. Each patient is assigned to a chassis, and each module is assigned to a patient and to a chassis. Each module is fully operational in either an independent or a dependent mode. In both modes, the chassis continuously polls the module for patient data collected by the module. In the dependent mode, the module is physically received by, and powered from, the chassis, and sends patient data to a computer in the chassis for storage therein. In the independent mode, the module is remote from, and independent of, the chassis. In the independent mode, the module stores patient data in its own memory when data cannot be communicated to the chassis. When requested by the portable computer, the chassis communicate the patient data to the portable computer.