Northwell Adds Digital Footprint Technology

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It may be a tiny footprint for newborns, but the introduction of CertaScan Technologies at Katz Women’s Hospital at North Shore University Hospital (NSUH) represents a giant leap forward in the area of patient security and peace of mind for new parents.

With the introduction of CertaScan, NSUH becomes the first hospital on Long Island to capture high-resolution newborn footprints to be used for precise identification in situations like abduction, lost baby or natural disaster.

The Newborn Safety System, which uses LiveScan Technology, offers several advantages to the ink pads traditionally employed to capture newborn footprints. Aside from offering 24/7 access to a forensic expert who could quickly identify a baby’s identity should the need arise, CertaScan is quicker and easier to use than current ink systems. And, the digital footprints and security photo, automatically linked to the mother’s fingerprints, can be stored efficiently in the newborn’s electronic medical record. Much like fingerprints, footprints are a biometric and unique to each baby. They can be used for identification throughout a lifetime.

The scanners, which have been in use since 2014, are currently found in more than 100 hospitals around the country. Since its launch at Katz, more than 100 newborns have received the scan. The device is also available in Northern Westchester Hospital and Lenox Hill Hospital, both members of Northwell Health.

“The new technology is important because it allows us to provide an additional level of security for our newborns,” said John Bosco, Northwell’s senior vice president and chief information officer. “It gives new parents peace of mind to know that their baby is safe while in the hospital, and that their footprints will be stored securely in the cloud for identification purposes.”

Erika Auerbach and her husband, Dr. Adam Auerbach, of Syosset, were thrilled to welcome their newborn son, Spencer, into the world on Oct. 7. They were also very happy to learn that their son’s first footprint was handled in high-tech fashion, without the mess and fuss of the traditional inkpad.

“Of course, we hope we’ll never have to make use of this technology for security purposes,” said Dr. Auerbach. “We learned that the baby’s footprints are stored in the cloud and can be downloaded at some future time. It’s cool to know that there might be a T-shirt or mug in the baby’s future.”

—Submitted by Northwell Health

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