St. Cloud Hospital to Increase Precautions in Children's Unit

St. Cloud Hospital to Increase Precautions in Children's Unit Click to Enlarge Photo:

Jun 14, 2012 at 8:56 am

ST. CLOUD, MN (KNSI) - A big change coming to protect kids at St. Cloud Hospital as CentraCare says starting Friday, the Hospital's Children's Center will become a locked unit. 

While the hospital has had protection systems in place on the unit for years, it was important for them to stay in step with more rigid guidelines laid out for hospitals by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

"We decided that to bring ourselves up to the national standards and it really was important to lock down our unit," Children's Center clinical director Diane Pelant said.

With the locked down status visitors will now enter the unit only through a constantly staffed welcome center, and will need to know the first and last name of the patient they are going to see, as well as show a photo ID.

"Once they do that then they will be entered into our system, they will be given a visitor badge and we will let them into the unit," Pelant said.

The new status as a locked unit does mean more hoops to clear for those seeing younger patients but Pelant says the positives definitely out-weigh any temporary inconvenience.

"This is for our community and for protecting our infants and children," Pelant said. "We need to look at this as a positive change and one that I believe will definitely pay off in the end."

Thus far the reaction to the trial runs of the screening process has been positive.

"I have not received any negative's just a change...people will have to be more aware of who they're coming to see, first and last name," Pelant said. "In fact it has been the opposite, visitors are thankful that we are paying attention to who is coming in and out of our units."

The screening process could also have the effect of decreasing traffic in the unit to better allow doctors, nurses and security to better monitor who's near those young patients.

"It's not because we are trying to, as someone put it, 'be mean' or that type of thing," Pelant said. "We are just trying to uphold how the system should work and maintain our knowledge of who is coming and going in our unit."


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