Infant Security Goes High-Tech

Infant security—along with proper identification within the healthcare setting—is a standard of care. Best practice guidelines include an abduction prevention plan, parent education, the elimination of published birth notifications, a visitor checkpoint with issued photograph/name identification, current photograph/name badges with unique identifiers worn by all staff, controlled access to nursery and postpartum floors, baby and mother identification bands attached at birth, plus infant footprint, photograph, and physical examination documentation. Infant security systems provide an additional level of safety.

Companies offer a range of solutions for infant protection against abduction and inaccurate identification. These systems are based on radio frequency identification (RFID) technology.

A standard system includes:

  • Tamper-proof bands or tags attached in the delivery room for the infant and mother. The RFID tag works as a transmitter and supports correct identification.
  • Local Area Receivers (LARs) to transmit signals as well as time-stamp transmissions.
  • System workstations to receive transmissions. The infant security system provides continual monitoring to detect movement outside of the designated area and any tampering of the tag or band. An immediate alarm is generated when the tag is not touching skin and if it stops communicating with the system. The alert is displayed on a workstation, and the event is logged. These systems work with hospital Wi-Fi or wired networks.
  • Customizable options designed to meet specific facility requirements.

Integration into the facility security system is an important component of a complete infant security system. This includes integration with elevator control systems, door-locking systems, security cameras, and alarm systems providing video surveillance with automatic door, exit, and elevator locking. Systems may also be integrated into nurse call and paging systems.

System pricing is variable

Because each project is unique and subject to the number of tags and readers/workstations required, pricing for systems varies. Price considerations may also include cabling, configuration, installation, and other professional services.

Service and maintenance costs are variable and are priced based upon the scope, service level, and length of term. Historically, maintenance agreements range from 8% and 22% of the cost of the software and components.

Competitors in the Infant Security market include:

McRoberts

The MyChild™ Infant Protection System is based on door and elevator alarm technology plus patient tags that are used to prevent unauthorized movement outside controlled areas as well as accidental or intentional identification errors.

RF Technologies

The Safe Place® Infant Security Solution is based on alarming band and Smart Sense® technology. This system detects movement of infants from a monitored area. Safe Place integrates small transmitter bands with single-platform software that operates independently of servers. There is an optional Baby Check™ mother-baby feature to prevent mismatch of patients.

Stanley Healthcare

The Hugs® infant protection solution provides hospital-wide infant security and offers an optional Kisses® mother-infant matching feature. The system works with the hospital’s Wi-Fi infrastructure. Once the tag is attached and activated, it begins to transmit a unique ID number that is registered in the Hugs system. These signals are detected by Wi-Fi access points, then relayed to the server with Stanley MobileView software.

Systems for other populations available

Vendors may offer additional solutions for a range of patient protection needs. RF Technologies has the CODE ALERT® wander management system. Stanley offers the PEDZ pediatric protection system for the pediatric floor and PICU, plus the PASSPORT patient protection system for high-risk patients in the emergency department, mental health, and geriatric units.

Purchase activity

For standalone systems, the MD Buyline database reflects the highest purchase activity for the Stanley HUGS system and RF Technologies Safe Place. There is limited activity for the McRoberts MyChild product, typically quoted for smaller-scale projects.

  • Stanley HUGS -64% purchasing activity
  • RF Technologies – 36% purchasing activity

Competing vendors

Some competing vendors offer similar solutions that may be packaged as part of a larger, integrated system:

  • CenTrak newbaby™ Infant Protection – This system combines patented infrared and active radio frequency identification technology. This company offers a portfolio of products for workflow, patient safety, environmental. and temperature monitoring; staff security; hand-hygiene compliance; medical scope management; infection control; and wayfinding solutions.
  • Accutech Healthcare Security Solutions offers the Cuddles® infant protection solution and the Certascan® for digital footprinting for infant identification. Accutech offers electronic access control solutions, as well as the ResidentGuard® wander management solution and Kidz® protection solution for the pediatric environment.
  • Secure Care KinderGUARD® provides protection against adduction and supports patient identification for infant-mother matching and breast milk management. Secure Care offers a broad range of healthcare, manufacturing, hospitality and education facility security solutions.
  • Guard RFID TotGuard™ offers security for infant and pediatric patient protection within its complete Healthcare portfolio of products.

Kathey Leibold, Clinical Analyst

Kathey Leibold joined MD Buyline in 2002 with over 24 years’ experience in respiratory care for the neonatal, pediatric, cardiac, and neurocritical care units.

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