By Kathy Walsh

LOVELAND, Colo. (CBS4)– Two UCHealth hospitals in Northern Colorado have taken a new step in enhancing the safety of newborns. Babies’ footprints, once done with ink and paper, are now being digitally scanned. This is a first for Colorado.

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Poudre Valley Hospital (PVH) and Medical Center of the Rockies (MCR) are using a new system developed by a company called CertaScan Technologies. It’s an innovative way to collect very important information.

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“She’s pretty precious,” said new mother, Rebecca Morrison.

Her baby, Violent Rana, was born on August 12. From the moment she was born, Rebecca and Danny Morrison have been smitten with their first child.

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“It’s crazy how much you want to take care of them,” Rebecca told CBS4 Health Specialist Kathy Walsh.

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Keeping Violet safe begins in the hospital. With tiny hands that curl into tiny fists, newborn fingerprints are difficult to capture.

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Many hospitals take babies unique footprints to identify them. It’s usually an ink and paper process.

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“Those images can smudge,” said Laura Hall, Clinical Director of Women and Children’s Services at PVH and MCR.

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So the hospitals have turned to technology. They now offer digital scanning done at birth. CBS4 was given a demonstration. An OB Surgical Tech photographed Violet, then scanned her feet.

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Violet fussed for seconds to get precise footprints for life. Mom, Rebecca, was linked to baby Violet through scans of Rebecca’s index fingers.

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“The images are digitally uploaded into a cloud and scanned into the patient’s medical record,” said Hall.

“To be able to access a data base anywhere in the U.S. is great,” said new father, Danny Morrison.

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“In case of, you know, kidnapping or something like that you could see some of that information, the police could see that,” said Rebecca.

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A digital footprint is a biometric that can be accessed immediately. It’s also a little peace of mind for parents, hopefully never needed, there just in case.

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The scan is free for patients. Right now, it’s a pilot program. The hope is to eventually offer the technology at all UCHealth facilities that deliver babies.

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Kathy Walsh is CBS4’s Weekend Anchor and Health Specialist. She has been with CBS4 since 1984. She is always open to story ideas. Follow Kathy on Twitter @WalshCBS4.