Root causes of infant abductions identified

All the hospitals where infant abductions have occurred identified unmonitored elevator or stairwell access to the postpartum and nursery areas as a root cause, according to information from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.

The root causes fell into these six general areas:

  • Security equipment factors such as security equipment not being available, operational, or used as intended.
  • Physical environmental factors such as no line of sight to entry points as well as unmonitored elevator or stairwell access.
  • Inadequate patient education.
  • Staff-related factors such as insufficient orientation/training, competency/credentialing issues and insufficient staffing levels.
  • Information-related factors such as birth information published in local newspapers, delay in notifying security when an abduction was suspected, improper communication of relevant information among caregivers, and improper communication between hospital units.
  • Organization cultural factors such as reluctance to confront unidentified visitors/ providers.