The CertaScan newborn identification system

The CertaScan newborn identification system  is a digital footprint scanner in newborn nurseries at Abrazo.

Why should newborns have their feet dipped in ink?

Babies born at Abrazo this year will be going high tech for footprint memories.

Abrazo West Campus in Goodyear and Abrazo Arrowhead Campus in Glendale now offer an infant safety system that allows the hospitals to digitally capture high-resolution newborn footprints that parents can use to create mementos and identification records.

Nurses use a handheld scanner instead of traditional messy ink pads for the footprints, which are stored in a secure digital system. 

The CertaScan footprint scanning system can also be used for precise identification in situations like natural disasters or missing children.

The two Abrazo hospitals are the first in Arizona to use the CertaScan system.

Parents receive a certificate with the newborn’s footprints, which can later be customized online and downloaded for sharing with family and friends, according to Jerry Lawlor, director of Women’s and Infants’ Services at Abrazo West Campus.

 “The system is safe for use on babies and provides improved footprint quality over traditional inked footprint. Nurses like the system because it is easy to use, easy to adopt and replaces the time-consuming and messy ink and paper method,” said Sonia Mesko, RN, a nurse at Abrazo West.

“The digital footprints and security photo can be stored efficiently in the newborn’s electronic medical record. Similar to fingerprints, footprints are unique to each baby, so they can be used for identification throughout a lifetime,” said Mesko.

 Each new mom receives a certificate of the newborn’s footprint. Parents can visit a special website to enhance the certificate with colors, different fonts and borders, and download a digital copy of the baby’s footprint.

 Information also is stored in an encrypted, password-protected database that can be retrieved by the hospital where the footprint is taken and by the mother of the newborn. The baby’s photo and mother’s index fingerprints are included in the digital record, said Lawlor.