Crittenton Hospital Medical Center and CareTech Solutions help babies stay safe with new tracking technology

Rochester 10 October 2005Crittenton Hospital Medical Center in Rochester, Michigan, has activated two high-tech systems that will improve the safety and care of patients as well as information access for visitors with the assistance of CareTech Solutions, a Michigan-based provider of information technology (IT) and health care information management (HIM) solutions for hospitals and health systems.

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In the hospital's paediatrics and mother-baby units, an advanced system has been implemented for ensuring the safety of babies, helping to ensure that a baby is matched with its own mother when brought to a room from the nursery and that only authorized individuals move a baby through the units.

Called the "Hugs and Kisses" infant protection system, manufactured by VeriChip, this tracking technology involves a tiny radio-frequency identification (RFID) radio transmitter that is placed on the baby's ankle. With a wireless system in place throughout the area, "Hugs" polls the baby's monitor every seven seconds to determine the exact location of the infant in relation to an electronic floor plan that is observed by hospital staff.

The "Kisses" mother/infant matching system technology utilizes the RFID device on the baby and a small quarter sized tag on the mother that are bound together at the baby's birth. This system prevents the risk of mother/baby mismatch by playing a lullaby when the mother and baby are within arms reach to confirm a match. The "Hugs and Kisses" systems also support multiple births.

Moreover, both systems help prevent abduction of an infant, a problem resulting in more than 100 abductions from health care facilities in the past 22 years. If a baby is held more than ten seconds outside a door, or if a baby passes through a door without having been released, an alert sounds in the unit to warn nurses. The monitoring system is removed from the mother and baby when they are discharged.

While "Hugs and Kisses" is designed to provide constantly updated information on each baby's location and proper matching with its mother, another system implemented at Crittenton by CareTech is helping visitors remain updated on information from the World Wide Web. All areas of the hospital now provide wireless access to the Internet. Visitors and families in public areas and in patient rooms can go on-line via their laptops to keep others up to date on a patient's progress through e-mail, to stay in touch with news developments, to retrieve medical and other information from on-line sites and to use the Internet for a full range of resources. This fall, Internet kiosks will be installed in public areas of the hospital for additional convenience.

Additionally, cell phone use will be permitted in certain areas of the hospital, allowing family and friends to remain in contact with one another. "Our top priorities at Crittenton are safety, comfort and communication for patients and their families", stated Crittenton Hospital Medical Center President and Chief Executive Officer Lynn Orfgen. "We feel the security and peace of mind afforded us by CareTech's adaptation of VeriChip's technology for Crittenton, along with the information access now available through our wall-to-wall wireless access, will provide an exceptional level of comfort among all who stay, visit and work here."

CareTech is known widely for the innovative solutions it develops and/or implements for health care systems across the country, ranging from advanced networking technology to forward-looking electronic medical records that help to improve the quality and efficiency of patient care.

"Crittenton is offering a new standard of care through its adoption of this RFID technology and other wireless applications", stated CareTech President and Chief Executive Officer Jim Giordano. "The board and management of Crittenton should be commended for embracing technology to its fullest in advancing the well-being and comfort of its patients."

Since first opening its doors in 1967, Crittenton Hospital Medical Center has prided itself on being the modern image of a community hospital, one that offers complete quality medical care with compassion and a full range of emergency and ambulatory services, including intensive care, inpatient and outpatient surgery, paediatrics, obstetrics and gynaecology, neurology, cardiology, orthopaedics, gastro-enterology, audiology and radiation oncology. Speciality services include paediatric urgent care, joint replacement, sports rehabilitation, inpatient rehabilitation, occupational medicine, sleep medicine, wound management, hospice, weight management, bloodless medicine and community health education programmes.

CareTech Solutions Inc., an information technology (IT) and health information management (HIM) outsourcing provider for hospitals and health systems, is committed to creating value for health care clients through customized, flexible outsourcing solutions that contribute to improving patient care while lowering health care costs. Based in Troy, Michigan, CareTech Solutions offers clients expert services in virtually every facet of information technology from implementing emerging technologies to supporting day-to-day IT and HIM operations for hospitals nationally.


Leslie Versweyveld

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