Who are we?
CertaScan provides a 21st century solution to identifying infants in hospitals using a modern scanning technology and patent pending system to scan the feet of newborn babies. Footprints from birth are a recognized and viable way to uniquely identify each baby. Use of these footprints for forensic identification can be utilized throughout the life of the child.
Based on years of experience in the maternity setting and with the guidance from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC), we have created a new “Gold Standard” process for identifying infants that is simple to implement and use in a hospital setting. Our Infant Safety System not only provides the digital capture and storage of newborn footprints but also includes the option of adding security photos and mom's index fingerprint.
Our system consists of advanced equipment, our patent pending software and affiliated services including installation, training and maintenance - all with no upfront costs. We make it available at an affordable fee per scan providing hospitals and parents with usable identification in critical situations such as abduction, switched babies, natural disasters and abandonments.
With Certascan, hospitals can use a newborn’s footprints for their originally intended important purpose of baby identification. We even provide hospitals with the tools to place these footprints into electronic medical records (EMRs). Our system has quickly gained praise from hospital administrators, nurses, parents and law enforcement agencies and officials.
The CertaScan system consists of advanced scanning equipment, our patent pending software and affiliated services including installation, training and maintenance. We make this available at an affordable price to our hospital partners. There is NO upfront cost to installing the CertaScan system. The company only charges a fee per newborn foot scan.
With the CertaScan system, hospitals can identify infants, with certainty, from the time of birth, throughout their stay and for life. The benefits of the CertaScan system include:
- Completely digital capture of high resolution scan of infant’s foot prints
- Real time ability to rescan for confirming identification
- 24/7 access to a specialist who can confirm a baby’s identity in the event of need
- Compliant with the latest NCMEC’s Infant Security Guidelines
- Enhanced compliance with the Joint Commissions’ Patient Identification standard
- Mitigates hospital risk profile by preventing baby switches and complying with strictest infant safety guidelines
- Enhances hospital reputation by increasing patient satisfaction through delivery of highest quality infant safety measures
In addition to providing superior identification benefits, the CertaScan system provides far greater ease of use for hospitals:
- Nurse Friendly Software
- Completely mobile equipment
- Prints cobranded keepsake for parents
- Prints copy for chart
- Cuts down on Nurses’ time versus traditional methods
- No cleanup of messy inks
- On site training at installation
- Web based training available whenever required
- Quality assurance checks by CertaScan staff
- Secure portal access to electronic version (for EMR/EHR)
The CertaScan system is a unique and patent pending set of equipment, software and services that has been years in the making.
Established in 1984, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® is the leading nonprofit organization in the U.S. working with law enforcement, families and the professionals who serve them on issues related to missing and sexually exploited children. As part of its Congressional authorization, NCMEC has created a unique public and private partnership to build a coordinated, national response to the problem of missing and sexually exploited children, establish a missing children hotline and serve as the national clearinghouse for information related to these issues.
Over the last 30 years, NCMEC's national toll-free hotline, 1-800-THE-LOST® (1-800-843-5678), has handled more than 3.9 million calls. With help from corporate partners, they have circulated billions of photos of missing children, and their employees have assisted law enforcement in the recovery of more than 196,000 missing children. They have trained more than 305,000 law enforcement officers, prosecutors and health care professionals at their Alexandria, Va. headquarters, their branch offices and online.
Since launching their first safety programs more than two decades ago, they have worked to put in place the policies, educational initiatives and public-private partnerships to prevent the victimization of children. Among other services, they rapidly deploy members of Team Adam, all retired law enforcement professionals, when children are critically missing to assist in the search and offer their free resources. They have access to many public databases and can help with case analysis and mapping. Their forensic artists create age-progressed photos and facial and skull reconstructions, and they provide assistance to help the U.S. marshals track more than 100,000 noncompliant sex offenders. A team of social services professionals provides emotional support to families and victims. Outreach teams work in communities to make child safety a daily concern. Their education experts develop free programming.
For further details – go to www.missingkids.com
CertaScan is proud to be a sponsor of NCMEC’s new 10th edition of the book “For Healthcare Professionals; Guidelines on Prevention of and Response to Infant Abduction.” This edition can be reviewed at www.missingkids.com/InfantAbduction
AWHONN’s mission is to improve and promote the health of women and newborns and to strengthen the nursing profession through the delivery of superior advocacy, research, education and other professional and clinical resources to nurses and other health care professionals.
AWHONN proudly possesses the following Core Values (as expressed in the acronym "CARING")
- Commitment to professional and social responsibility
- Accountability for personal and professional contributions
- Respect for diversity of and among colleagues and clients
- Integrity in exemplifying the highest standards in personal and professional behavior
- Nursing Excellence for quality outcomes in practice, education, research, advocacy and management
- Generation of Knowledge to enhance the science and practice of nursing to improve the health of women and newborns
CertaScan Frequently Asked Questions
What are the full benefits that CertaScan provides hospitals?
- Back up to wristband security used in maternity wards
- Precise ID for baby switches in hospital (photos not good enough and DNA cannot differentiate identical twins)
- Precise ID for abductions and found babies and young children (DNA testing takes too long and costs too much)
- Provides for biometric ID in electronic medical records (EMRs)
- More precise, usable, faster and cleaner than ink/inkless processes (to nurses, hospitals, moms)
- Develops biometric ID database for babies for hospitals
- Reduces insurance fraud
- Reduces risk of hospital lawsuits (from incorrect baby ID)
- Enhances hospital security status (vs. non-adoptors)
- Serves as deterrent to potential abductors (another means by which babies can be identified)
- Confirmation of baby’s identification for concerned moms
The CertaScan system:
Why scan the feet of newborns vs. other biometric methods
- The foot print does not change with age, it is just like a finger print. The problem with taking a baby’s finger print is that they tend to clench their hands early on and one has the risk of hurting the infant trying to get the hand open. In addition, the fingers are really small. Iris scans will not work because babies tend to close their eyes often and their iris’ change shape – often until age 2.
What type of technology does CertaScan use?
- It uses LiveScan high resolution image capture technology.
Is the technology safe for babies?
- The scanner uses low voltage imaging technology that is entirely safe.
What does the CertaScan system consist of?
- The CertaScan system consists of hardware, patent pending software and a system for scanning newborn footprints. The system is supported by installation, training and maintenance services provided by the company. Hospitals can also choose to add infant security photos and mom's index fingerprints to the digital records.
Does CertaScan provide footprint keepsakes to moms for free?
- Yes. When a nurse scans a baby’s foot, a copy of the foot print is printed out on an attractive “Baby’s First Foot Print” certificate with the baby’s name, birth date and time, weight and height. The hospital’s logo is also put on the certificate. When mom gets home, she can go to the company's website, www.firstfootprint.com and (1) download and print a copy of the certificate she received at the hospital, (2) download a digital copy of her baby's footprint for safekeeping and (3) customize her newborn's footprint certificate by adding baby's name in a choice of fonts, adding color to the certificate and placing a choice of borders around it.
Is CertaScan HIPAA compliant?
- CertaScan is HIPAA compliant. The company does not have any access to Patient Medical Information. Captured data and images are encrypted to meet the Federal Information Process Standard (FIPS) 140-2 encryption.
Who will have access to the footprint images Certascan takes of newborns?
- When a newborn footprint is taken in a hospital, it is loaded into a fully secure database that can only be retrieved by the hospital where the footprint is taken and by the mother of the newborn. Access to the database requires a password.
Can the digitally scanned footprints be put into electronic medical records (EMRs)?
- The digitally scanned foot print can be loaded by the hospital into the patient’s electronic medical record.
How can a hospital get started with CertaScan?
- The best way to reach CertaScan is by phone (1-800-240-9232), by email (email@example.com) or filling out the form in the Contact Us section of this website.
- Once you contact us, we will schedule a call or an in-hospital visit/demo with you and your team to review the CertaScan Infant Safety System.
- Next steps will include information sharing, completing forms (including a Business Associate Agreement) and the signing of a contract.
When was the most recent child abduction from a hospital?
- The most recent child abduction occurred in the U.S. occurred on April 23, 2016 in Monroe, Louisiana. Police were called to St. Francis Hospital in response to the reported kidnapping of an infant child. Police say around 7 P.M., a woman identified as 24-year old Anquinisha Cummings, entered a hospital room occupied by a mom and her three day old infant. Police say Cummings told the mother a mutual friend sent her there with a gift, the two talked for a little while, and when the mother got up to use the bathroom, she returned to find the baby gone. Hospital staff, security, and police were notified, and began investigating. Monroe Police worked to locate Cummings, and the baby was found at the home of the suspect's mother in about an hour. Police say the child appeared in good health and unharmed, and afterwards, was reunited with his mom.
How often do newborn abductions take place?
- According to the National Center of Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), there have been 308 reported cases of abducted infants in the United States since 1983. Forty three percent of these cases have been from healthcare facilities and the rest from mother’s homes and other places. These abductions are wrenching experiences for the parents and child and almost 22% of the time result in violence. Through the great efforts of NCMEC and numerous law enforcement agencies, most of the abducted babies were found. However, the risk of another abduction continues to exist and hospitals and moms must be vigilant and not become complacent. There have been a number of attempted abductions that have occurred in U.S. hospitals and outside the hospital buildings.
What is the typical profile of an infant abductor?
- The NCMEC in the U.S. has a profile it developed by analyzing 288 child abductions by people other than family members from 1983 to 2012. According to them, it says an infant abductor usually has these characteristics:
- A woman of childbearing age, often married or co-habitating.
- "Most often relies on manipulation, lying and deception."
- "Most likely compulsive."
- Often overweight, or looks like she might be pregnant.
- Lives near the hospital where the abduction takes place.
- Often gets to know the appropriate hospital staff, their work routines and the potential victim's parents.
- Plans the abduction while visiting nursery and maternity units at more than one health care facility.
- Impersonates a nurse or other hospital employee.
- Does not necessarily target a specific infant but frequently seizes any opportunity to abduct an infant.
- "Frequently uses a fire exit stairwell for her escape."
- "Demonstrates capability to provide "good" care to the baby once the abduction occurs."
Have footprints been used to identify infants abducted from hospitals?
Methods used to identify infants abducted from hospitals – upon recovery – 1983 to present
SOURCE: National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC)
Current foot printing practices:
How many hospitals capture baby foot prints?
- Sixty five percent (65%) of US hospitals still use ink or inkless paper methods for foot printing infants. Due to its ineffectiveness for identification it devolved into a mere keepsake for parents. The balance of US hospitals have ceased taking footprints. In some states it is the law that hospitals take footprints and in many other states it is highly recommended by hospital associations and the law enforcement community. The CertaScan system is compliant with the latest NCMEC’s Infant Security Guidelines. Furthermore, enhanced compliance is in line with the Joint Commissions’ Patient Identification standard.