New technology now offered at Lakeland BirthPlace

ST. JOSEPH — Lakeland Health recently became the first health system in Michigan, and the only one in the area, to install an Infant Safety System developed by CertaScan Technologies. The technology allows staff at the BirthPlace in Niles and St. Joseph to digitally scan a newborn’s footprint and capture a high resolution image which can be used for precise identification in situations like an abduction, lost baby, or natural disaster.

Prior to the implementation of CertaScan, footprints were taken using an ink and paper method that could occasionally result in smudged or inconsistent impressions that needed to be re-done. With this new technology, entirely safe for use on babies, the digital footprints and security photo are stored efficiently in the newborn’s electronic medical record. Much like fingerprints, footprints are a biometric and unique to each baby, so they can be used for identification throughout a lifetime.

“The prospect of losing a child is terrifying, especially to new parents and CertaScan allows us to provide another layer of safety for new mothers and infants,” said Tammy Jerz, RN, manager, BirthPlace at Lakeland Hospital, Niles. “Parents are also presented with a keepsake certificate containing the baby’s footprints and have the option to download a digital copy to share with family and friends.”

Lakeland Health is a nonprofit, community-owned health system, which includes three hospitals, an outpatient surgery center, a cancer center, rehabilitation centers, long-term care, hospice, home care services, and physician practices. Lakeland has over 3,800 employees who provide clinical and support services at locations throughout southwest Michigan, and partners with more than 500 affiliated physicians and other providers. The distinction applies to both Lakeland Medical Center, St. Joseph, and Lakeland Hospital, Niles. The Lakeland Health system has delivered generations of southwest Michigan residents, with 1,823 babies born in the St. Joseph and Niles hospitals within the last fiscal year. Lakeland is served by a team of 26 obstetrics and gynecology providers, including physicians, nurse practitioners, and certified nurse midwives. For more information, visit www.lakelandhealth.org

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