Are you still convinced Radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags will keep your child safe? Most parents are confused between the difference between Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and RFID but with either technology, how safe is your child?
Covenant Lakeside Hospital says it places identification bands on infants and parents immediately at birth and refers to “a number of other security measures” on its Web site.”As soon as the baby and this security piece were separated we were alarmed and knew,” … “That’s what enabled us to be able to get the visual of the pickup.”
Gwen Stafford is a senior vice president of Covenant Health System. According to Lubbock police Lt. Scott Hudgens the mother alerted someone that her baby was gone within about 15 minutes.
How valuable is a security system which allows the abductor to leave the premises? Is that an effective technology? Shouldn’t hospital staff be aware of strangers among them dressed like staff? Is it realistic to put that burden on patients?
One of the tips from the NCMEC for expectant mothers is to not to give your child to anyone.
Do not give your infant to anyone without properly verified identification as issued by that facility. Find out what additional or special identification is being worn to further identify facility personnel who have authority to transport the infant. Speak to a person in authority, such as a unit director or charge nurse, if you have any questions or concerns.
In this CIO Interview from February 2001, Cathy Nahirny, Administrative Manager for the Training Division at the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) offers her thoughts on technology. The particular product being highlighted was from VeriChip the purported leader in infant protection with one out of every two hospitals choosing the HALO® or Hugs® system to protect their infants.
While the technology is a step toward patient safety, Cathy Nahirny, supervisor of case analysis and support division for NCMEC, warns against complacency. “This technology is definitely helpful in preventing abductions, but the human touch and the technology need to go hand and hand.” Her justification: Since 1997, the center has documented three cases where infants were abducted by nonfamily members from facilities that had infant security tagging systems.
Another issue is why was there a delay in issuing an Amber Alert? The simple answer is there was a missing child alert issued to law enforcement, followed by a regional Amber Alert via Beyond Missing Inc.
Coincidently, Texas Governor Rick Perry announced an award of $100,000 to them in December 2006 to provide a web-based system to support law enforcement agencies in the development of Amber Alert flyers on suspected child abductions. According to News Channel 11 in Lubbock, once activated, calls began to pour in.
The newborn was kidnapped around 1:20 a.m. on Saturday, but the Amber Alert didn’t go to media outlets for another seven hours, and some are asking “What took so long?”