Re-posted with permission from PDC Healthcare and edited.
Having a safe environment is essential, not just for your patients but also for your staff. Being able to properly identify everyone in your facility builds trust and lets everyone focus on the task at hand, providing better healthcare services to your customers.
To continue where we left off last week after Step 3…
STEP 4: BE A HERO TO THE VULNERABLE
Certain areas and departments are more susceptible to crime than others. For this reason, staff who work in high-security wards should have special training and greater awareness of access control by checking all visitors’ ID on a regular basis. Some of the departments that require greater visitor supervision include L&D, the ER, the ICU, children’s wards, and all hospital pharmacies.
STEP 5: FIND YOUR FIT
Depending on your visitor volume, location, and security needs, one type of visitor management system may work better for your facility than another.
SHORT ON FUNDS?
Try a handwritten system. While this may be sufficient for low-volume facilities in areas with minor crime rates, it definitely has its flaws. Visitor and department names can easily be recorded incorrectly. Also, unauthorized perpetrators could acquire blank badges and falsify information to gain access to high-security areas, creating a serious safety risk.
HAVE A LITTLE EXTRA TIME TO SPARE?
Use print on demand badges accompanied by a log book. This option is definitely better than a handwritten system, but it is still subject to certain problems. At first glance, staff may not know if a visitor’s badge has expired or designated for a different day than listed. If using this method, assign color-coding for different days of the week to increase security.
WANT TO GET ON BOARD WITH THE REST OF THE 21ST CENTURY?
You need a complete visitor management system including software, self-expiring badges, and a badge printer. But don’t worry too much – some of these systems are surprisingly inexpensive! Your hospital can conveniently fill out and print badges within seconds, while keeping track of visitors via software. This way, a log book is not needed and caregivers are able to save valuable time and resources. Self-expiring badges feature a red “VOID” alert after one day to provide a highly-visible notification to staff. Plus, badges can be completely customized to include departments, type of visitors, and more.
This is an easy-to-implement, low-tech option for hospitals of all admission volumes and security risks. Remember, there will always be a need to visually identify everyone in your facility. As evidenced by recent events, making identification judgments based solely on clothing puts your entire facility at risk.
STEP 6: ALL EYES ON DECK
Now that you have a visitor management system in place, and your staff is properly trained on how to implement it, be sure to conduct routine check-ups on your security and hospital staff to ensure they are following protocol. As a test, conduct a monthly “secret visitor” training where unidentified visitors, or visitors with expired or incorrectly labeled badges, walk around various departments. This will provide some insight on how well your staff is following protocol, as well as keeping them accountable for the role they play in your hospital’s visitor management system.
If you’re interested in implementing a complete system like the one mentioned above, the ISG offers the TEMPbadge® Visitor Management System that helps boost security and improve patient and staff safety. The company has been manufacturing hospital ID solutions for more than 55 years, from simple, inexpensive wristbands to complete management systems. The ISG offers an extensive line of visitor identification products to fit every facility and budget.
Talk to Your Local ISG Expert
92% of surveyed hospitals cite creating a safe environment as the key benefit to having a visitor identification system in place. Do you have a effective and efficient visitor registration, identification and verification system in place in your healthcare facility? If not, talk to your local ISG expert about the right kind of options for your organization, including integrated solutions with your access control and video surveillance.
Don’t ever wonder again about who is roaming your halls. Know who they are and why they are there. Build the safe environment your employees and patients deserve.