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How to Manage Healthcare Facility Visitors

Today’s electronic solutions do an effective job of screening and tracking hospital guests and vendors. Each campus can determine the quantity and type of information they obtain on a visitor before the guest is allowed access.

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Watch Lists Help Keep Away Malicious Persons
Screening unwanted individuals is a vital feature of a visitor management system. Watch lists can be created to alert lobby attendants or security officers of unwanted persons — malicious individuals, disgruntled ex-employees, dubious contractors or other people who are not wanted in the facility. External databases can also be accessed directly from the visitor system to screen against registered sex offenders. In combination with automatic alerts, anyone checking in on a watch list or an external database can be flagged within seconds of check in so that selected hospital staff can take appropriate action.

Even though most healthcare facilities have attendants in the lobby, visitor management systems can also be set up in a kiosk mode for self-registration, much like a check-in at airports. Touch screens can be used, various languages can be selected, required fields can be established, the visitor’s license can be scanned and a badge can be printed, all in a single kiosk. Many hospitals use self-registration stations to alleviate congestion at lobby desks.

Healthcare facilities vary widely in their needs and requirements for visitor management. Because of the flexibility in the way they can be used, the expandability to include more entry points, and a range of features of a professional visitor system, healthcare facilities of all sizes and needs are able to adapt visitor management to improve overall security and enhance the professionalism of their organization. 

What Visitor Information Do You Need?
It’s entirely up to the organization how much visitor information they feel is necessary. For instance, they may want to obtain information on:

  • The patient the guest is visiting
  • The length of time they are expected to remain in the facility
  • If t
    he guest is a vendor, his or her company affiliation

The lobby attendant may also want to include additional information on the badge such as:

  • The visitor’s destination, such as a floor, wing or building
  • The category of visitor to distinguish patient visitors from vendors, contractors or temporary hospital volunteers.

John V. Murzycki is the director of marketing for EasyLobby Inc. For more information, visit www.easylobby.com.

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