The new system, which was purchased through a grant from The DCH Foundation, allows staff at the Women’s Center at DCH Regional Medical Center and the Women’s Pavilion at Northport Medical Center to capture high-resolution footprints of newborns. The digital footprints and a security photo are stored in the newborn’s electronic medical record. The scan can be used for precise identification in situations like abduction, lost baby or natural disaster.
“Much like fingerprints, footprints are unique to each baby, so they can be used for identification throughout a lifetime,” said Traci Swann, nurse manager of the Newborn Nursery at DCH Regional Medical Center.
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children recommended the system to hospitals in its most recent Infant Security Guidelines.
“This new system is entirely safe for use on babies and provides outstanding footprint quality,” Swann said. "The system replaces the time-consuming and messy ink and paper method," she added.
Anna Roberts of Tuscaloosa recently delivered her son at the Women’s Pavilion, and she said she was impressed with the new system.
“I was very excited to know that my infant’s footprints can be used for identification, and that they are stored for a lifetime,” Roberts said. “And I can print a digital copy of the footprint that can be kept as a memento of my baby’s birth.”
Each new mom receives a printed certificate of her newborn’s footprint during her stay. When she returns home, she can visit www.firstfootprint.com to enhance the certificate with colors, different fonts and borders. She can also download a digital copy of her baby’s footprint. These additional benefits are provided as a gift from DCH.
The Newborn Safety System was developed by CertaScan Technologies.