Joint Commission audits come around with the regularity of winter – and are usually about as welcome. But just as with frosty weather, being prepared can turn a Joint Commission audit from something to be endured into something to celebrate. We talk regularly with clients about their experiences with audits of their infant protection measures.
It’s an exciting time in the world of infant protection: we’re entering a period of innovation and rapid change that often comes with disruptive technology—in this case, the new generation of infant protection that leverages the Wi-Fi network to extend protection hospital-wide.
Clinicians, nurse managers and others responsible for hospital safety and security need to unleash the full power of the Hugs® Infant Protection solution through training and proven best practices to make you a power user.
Current and prospective clients of Stanley Healthcare Solutions’ Hugs® infant protection system are often curious about how other hospitals prepare for Joint Commission audits. To prepare for these audits, your hospital needs to be able to fully articulate the layers of protection in your procedures. In my role as Clinical Services Manager for Patient Security at Stanley Healthcare Solutions, I welcome the opportunity to share resources and best practices.
In consulting with hospitals on implementing infant or pediatric security systems, one thing we always stress is that protecting patients is a team effort. It is Nursing, Security, Risk Management, IT and many others working together who make for a safe environment – not the technology. There is another critical group that also has to be part of this team effort: parents and family.
We pride ourselves on the high degree of self-monitoring built in to Stanley Healthcare Solution’s Patient Security products for protecting high-risk patients from abduction, flight, wandering, etc. These systems continually monitor battery level in tags, device status and other aspects of the system, and generate automatic alerts to warn users of a problem. However, it is still necessary to implement a regular process of testing and drills to ensure that the system works at an optimal level.
Kevin Smith, product manager for patient security at Stanley Healthcare, recently appeared in the UK publication Public Service Review discussing the startling facts of mother/infant mismatching. You can read the article here. Mother/infant mismatching is often the forgotten part of infant security. As Kevin makes clear, mismatches are much more common than abduction attempts.
Electronic patient security, especially for newborns, is pretty well established in the US. Most hospitals have some kind of “infant protection” system in place, and the technology has been around for more than a decade. Now, hospitals worldwide have started to see the benefit of “baby tagging” technology, as it is often called. What’s interesting is the differences in how the technology is implemented into the clinical environment, and what’s important in each country.