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Family Birth Center Converts to Controlled-Access Unit

Date:  July 5th, 2016

Contact/Phone:  Mary Muhlbradt
(701) 857-5116, Cell: (701) 833-3341

e-mail:   Mary Muhlbradt

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(MINOT, ND)— Trinity Health is about to add an extra measure of security for its tiniest hospital patients.
Starting next month, Trinity Hospital’s Family Birth Center will convert to a controlled-access unit, similar to other sensitive areas of the hospital such as Intensive Care and the Pharmacy.

Lorrie Antos, Director of Women’s and Children’s Services, says hospitals increasingly are adopting added security measures in their birthing units to protect against the threat of abduction, ensure ongoing accreditation, and to enhance privacy among moms and newborns.

"The birth of a new baby is a joyous event that friends and family want to share,” Antos said. “This new policy won’t discourage visitation, but it will give parents more leeway in accepting visitors at a rate and at a time that is most beneficial to them.”

Under the new system, people who wish to visit the Birth Center will find that the doors of both the Mother/Baby and Labor/Delivery wings of the unit are locked. To gain access, visitors will need to push a button to alert staff that someone is present so they can observe the visitor’s image on a screen. Before giving the green light to enter, the staff member will need to inquire about the person’s identity and purpose of the visit, and also consult with the parents or check a list of preapproved visitors.

Megan Bonaime, the unit’s nurse manager, says controlled-access policies are driven in part by new approaches to caring for infants in a hospital setting. Whereas well-baby nurseries used to be the hub of the maternity floor, they’re now utilized only sparingly due the popularity of “rooming in” practices that place mothers and babies into close contact immediately after birth to enhance bonding and breastfeeding.

“Mothers nowadays need more privacy to bond with their babies and get the rest they need,” Bonaime said. “With this new system, parents delivering at Trinity can take comfort in knowing that the latest technology is being used to manage access and help ensure the health and safety of both mother and infant." SPACE index.php