You might be thinking to yourself, “We are a small hospital; we know everyone coming and going. We would notice if someone was trying to abduct an infant. Our doors into the Mother-Baby Unit are always locked. It can’t happen here!” These statements while sincere and well intentioned, don’t prepare you for the abduction of an innocent newborn. Then you’ll be asking yourself, “How did that happen? What should we have done?”
If you find yourself thinking, “It can’t happen here”, you might be one open door away from tragedy. What is stopping your facility from securing your most vulnerable patients? Listed below are strategies criminals often use in an attempt to by-pass security and enter a locked down facility (Limited access through controlled entry and exit points):
- They move through the hospital with purpose and act like they are supposed to be there. They have something in their hand or appear to be reading an important file. They catch the controlled door before it closes into its locked position. At this point, questioning by hospital authority is unlikely.
- They make a fake badge, point to the badge and wave to hospital authority through the glass. Oftentimes, this gets them buzzed into a locked unit. (Have you or a coworker ever allowed someone in who was not fully vetted yet appeared to belong?)
- They will piggy back on someone who is authorized to enter then engage casually with hospital staff, “Hold that door for me please.”
- They dress in “hospital-like” attire and move with purpose and authority.
- They impersonate someone official (fire inspection, electrical contractor, computer specialist, etc.) and ask for permission to enter not only the unit, but perhaps, a particular room.
Outlining strategies to easily enter a hospital without authorization shows the reality of an abduction. We don’t always hear about it because it is a PR nightmare for a hospital. On occasion, situations like these can even go undocumented. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has a number of well-documented stats to consider:
Over 43% of abductions occur within US hospitals:
- Abductions by family members are NOT included
- Unsuccessful abductions attempts are NOT included
Abductions occur in multiple locations:
- Mother's room: 58%
- Nursery: 13%
- Pediatrics: 13%
- On premise: 16%
While no official statistics are kept, instances where an infant is presented to the wrong mother are more common than infant abduction. Neither of these events should ever happen in a hospital. How secure are you in thinking these situations won’t happen in your own facility?
IMS has experience protecting the most vulnerable little ones. The first HUGS patient security system IMS installed over 19 years ago is still in operation today. We take pride in our continued service to patient security and have never had to uninstalled a single system in our territory.
How did we achieve this success?
- It begins with our people, by employing only top-notch employees that are highly trained and dedicated to doing it right.
- We ensure all technicians are factory certified and maintain direct communication to the manufacturer for support and ongoing system development.
- By partnering with the best patient security system on the market, we deliver patient security that is unparalleled.
- From the start, our focus is placed on design, install, and support. By taking our time, we understand your exact needs and offer a system specifically designed to meet those now and in the future.