When parents are admitted to the hospital for the birth of their baby, they are educated about the safety of the newest member of their family. Nikki Bentley, director of Perinatal Services, said security cameras, which record onto videotape, are placed at exits and elevators.
"We keep a monitor in the unit to see who is coming and going," Bentley said.
Following the discovery recently that a woman had been stolen as an infant, the occurrence of kidnapping from hospitals has come to the forefront. For local mothers, CMC works to keep those worries at bay.
Security measures in place include automatically locking doors inside the postpartum unit, where mothers are admitted after giving birth.
Bentley said the unit is accessed through a scan badge or through nurses after a visitor announces who they are visiting.
"You have to know a patient's name," she said. "Once they are inside the doors, they are locked and to get out the visitor has to have a code from patient or staff."
Never having too much security in place, babies also are matched with their mothers by a unique bracelet and account number. There are four bracelets to each patient. The mother receives one, another adult the mother trusts to have access to the baby receives the other with the baby wearing the remaining two.
The baby receives two in the event one slips off, Bentley explained.
In addition, each unit in the hospital is color-specific, and the CMC mother-baby logo is embroidered on the pockets of scrubs.
"We instruct patients of the colors and tell them not to give their baby to anyone who is not wearing that particular color," Bentley said. The staff also has a certain color stripe on their identification badge.
Bentley said staff members from other areas of the hospital come into the room for blood work, X-rays, labs and more, but those employees shouldn't take the baby out of the room.
"If we need the baby in the nursery a nurse with proper identification will take the baby there, that way there is no guessing work," she said.
One nurse looks after up to five babies. The nursery, delivery room and postpartum unit are each staffed with two nurses.
"The postpartum and nursery work very close together in taking care of the moms and the babies," Bentley said, adding that in the 13 years she has worked at CMC there have been no problems with security and babies.
Among the changes since Bentley joined CMC is the locking of units, and at one point labor, delivery and nursery were all behind closed doors.
Likewise, the nurses' station now is centrally located so visitors have to pass by to reach each room.
Bentley said safety measures are taken from the time a parent enters to deliver until they are discharged. A typical hospital stay after giving birth is a day for vaginal births and two for a cesarean section.
Prior to a parent leaving, the baby's footprint sheet is matched with the unique account number and bracelet.
"We have the mom sign off on the footprint sheet and bracelet saying she has the right baby," Bentley said.