Healthcare News & Insights

How one hospital stepped up its newborn security

Child abduction is one of the worst nightmares a hospital can face. And one facility is taking innovative steps to stop it.

While the facility has never had any problems with newborn safety, Colquitt Regional Medical Center, in Moultrie, GA, wanted to make sure it stayed that way — especially with all of the attempted child abductions you hear about on the news.

That’s why it implemented the Cuddles infant protection system.

Now, through the Cuddles system, every baby born at Colquitt Regional immediately is fitted with a small, comfortable bracelet around the ankle or wrist. The bracelets are uniquely identifiable to instantly match a mother and her newborn baby. That way, if a child is removed from the area, an alarm sounds and the Colquitt’s maternity ward goes on immediate lockdown until the infant is found.

The system uses radio frequency identification (RFID) to monitor infant activity on the maternity ward. And the bracelets only can be removed or deactivated by nursing personnel when the parents are ready to take their newborns home.

While the maternity ward at Colquitt is a locked unit where people have to be buzzed in and out of the department – an employee is posted at the desk to let people in and out, give them name tags and check IDs – this new system gives parents an added measure of security and comfort.

The facility is happy to report that so far, the monitors haven’t set off the alarm except for when they were going through training for the new system.

Note: The Cuddles system also has an option to enhance the system with a two-way radio that allows healthcare professionals to speak to each other, giving real-time information about the location and nature of the alarm.

Has your hospital upgraded any of its technology lately? If so, share your upgrades in the comments box below.


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