Infant Protection and Abduction Systems


Infant Protection System

Guarding against abduction is one of many important priorities for modern hospital birthing units. Delivering effective infant protection in a hospital environment is easy and affordable with systems using radio frequency identification (RFID) technology designed specifically to maintain the safety of infants in obstetric and pediatric departments. After a baby is born, they are fitted with a bracelet around their ankle or wrist which has a tag attached to it that transmits an RFID signal at a specific frequency to be detected by receivers placed by the exits. If a tag gets within the designated vicinity of a receiver, the infant protection system warns hospital staff and can trigger pre-programmed security events such as automatically locking all exits or sounding an alarm. However simple it may seem, all infant protection systems are not equal and there are some important considerations to be made by facility administrators choosing to install or expand an infant protection system.

Quality Differences and Features with Infant Protection Systems

Obstetric and pediatric departments in hospitals and birthing centers present many unique challenges that Infant Protection systems must overcome in order to be both effective and unobtrusive. To begin with, they are usually high traffic areas with many visitors and a high nurse to patient ratio. New mothers are encouraged to be mobile as part of their recovery and families are anxious to see their newest addition and snap a photo with a digital camera or cell phone. This means that RFID receivers must be designed to minimize interference from other devices around them and reduce false alarms. It is also critical that the bracelets worn by infants alert staff immediately if they are cut or tampered with and fit snuggly even as the infant loses wait in their first 48 hours.

Flexibility in how an Infant Protection system responds to a breach means that a facility can make choices that reflect their unique circumstances. Whether an alert is sent to selected security and nursing staff or a general alarm is sounded and/or all exits are locked until the alarm is cleared are just some of the options available with a comprehensive infant protection system. It is important to consider what other systems are in use and how you would like the infant protection to function in the environment. Can it integrate with other security and access control systems already in place? Does it require a dedicated computer to operate it? Can it be installed and maintained by existing hospital staff? How much training does it require?

Total Cost of Ownership

Anytime a hospital facility is choosing to install a new security or access related system, it is important that they understand all of the factors that contribute to total cost of ownership. For an infant protection system, these include installation costs, training time, the ability to upgrade, replacement components and batteries, operation costs, and responsive customer support. Deciding how these will influence your facility’s choice is key to finding a an infant protection system that meets your needs and budget. It is important to choose an infant protection system that addresses your current security situation and allows you to upgrade in the future to meet evolving needs and continue to ensure the safety and security of patients in your facility Рleading to satisfied customers and protection from liability.