Recently the story of a Texas couple who was given the wrong baby in an El Salvador hospital hit the media. Luckily, both sets of parents have since been reunited with their biological babies but as a healthcare technology solutions provider, it does raise a red flag. Although this happened in El Salvador – where the healthcare standards differ from those in the United States, that does not mean it doesn’t happen here and it is more common than one would think. In fact, some experts say that 1 out of every 8 babies are given to the wrong parents at some point during their hospital stay and that in high-capacity hospitals its closer to 1 in 4 but its hard to have the exact statistics because hospitals are not required to report data about baby switching. Although most mix-ups are corrected before the family leaves the hospital – in a world and industry ruled by technology what solutions are there to prevent these mishaps.
One of the best solutions we have seen on the market today is the Wireless MatchMAKER® ID mother baby matching system from Secure Care. This system possesses a discreet process that allows staff to ensure the baby is going to the right mother at the entrance of her room. The process is efficient, silent, and completely discreet avoiding embarrassing alarms or sounds or mismatches in front of the family. The MatchMAKER® ID panel is located directly outside the mother’s door so when a staff member brings the infant to the room there is an easy to view LED indicator displaying “Match” or “No Match”.
The system works with the Secure Care KinderGUARD® infant security software where there are no additional steps for nurses to take to admit or discharge the infant into the Wireless MatchMAKER® ID panels. All “Match” or “No Match” results are automatically logged in the software for future event reporting. The system is capable of supporting multiple births as well as semi-private rooms with multiple beds to accommodate any facility.
While stories of this nature are rare and the rates have dropped dramatically with the help of technology, being given the wrong baby is a terrifying reality that no parent should have to face. Implementing the latest in mother baby matching technology, like the wireless MatchMAKER ID, should be a top priority for any hospital.