Covenant Shares New Security Enhancements - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

9/14/07

Covenant Shares New Security Enhancements

New visitation rules are now in affect at Covenant Lakeside Medical Center.  They are part of a number of changes the hospital implemented after a Clovis, New Mexico woman kidnapped baby Mychael Darthard-Dawodu from the hospital back in March.

Rules aren't the only thing changing, though.  They've also installed a new video surveillance system, that is much more high-tech, but the staff still stresses that people are the first and best safety monitors.

"The nurses, they watch you pretty close," Covenant Health System Vice President Gwen Stafford said. 

Ever since the March 10th abduction of baby Mychael from Covenant Lakeside, the hospital has been working to beef up security.

"There is a heightened awareness," Stafford said. 

A large part of that process goes unseen.

"We have updated, revised, enhanced all the protocols on this mom-baby unit," Stafford said. 

While other enhancements are very visible.  New signs warn folks on the floor not to cross the line, because a security sensor will activate and lock down the elevators and stairwells.

Covenant has not changed their sensors, which Rayshaun Parson is believed to have de-activated when she stole baby Mychael, but the hospital has increased video surveillance. We're told the upgrade is like going from a Gameboy to an X-box.

A big part of the new security measures involves the people.

"Looking at your name, making sure you've got a name badge on, that human element that is absolutely indispensable," Stafford said. 

The details of what to look for are posted throughout each patient's room.

We asked if the hospital feels these changes will prevent abductions at Covenant.

"When you have a situation like that, you really take a hard, objective look on how we can do better.  We don't live in a perfect world, but we think with better technology, enhanced monitoring, and the constant, ongoing education, we feel good about it," Stafford said. 

We're told this is just phase one of a multi-phase project at Covenant, and Stafford says they are always looking for the newest and best security advancements.

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