How to Prevent Theft Sooner Than Later
Identifying visitors is a better – and quicker – deterrent than you may think.
Do you remember “The Junior Mint” episode of the television series “Seinfeld”?
Part of the story involved the character “Kramer” wandering the halls of a hospital in search of thin rubber gloves that he could wear while staining the wood in his apartment. He found the kind of medical gloves he wanted in a storage closet – “Ah, the mother lode!” he said – and pilfered a thick handful of them.
This was a fictional situation in a fictional hospital. But viewers of the show who are in the security business, especially those who work in hospitals, must have wondered how Kramer could have been allowed to roam freely throughout a hospital’s corridors and gain such easy access to its supplies.
This may have prompted other questions by security professionals, such as:
- How might this pilferage have been prevented? How much of this occurs at my hospital?
- Are the security procedures we have in place sufficient? Are they being followed?
- Are all the sensitive areas that should be restricted, like supply closets, actually restricted?
- Are there any people walking around the building who haven’t been authorized to be here?
Close observers of this Seinfeld episode noticed that Kramer wasn’t wearing a visitor badge. While that may not have kept him from getting into an unlocked storage area, it might have at least made it harder for him in any of the following ways:
- When a hospital’s policy is to have employees and visitors wear badges, a non-badge-wearing Kramer is recognized as an unauthorized visitor and stopped before he gets too far.
- When a hospital has a visitor identification policy with badges that specify where a visitor is allowed to go (such as the Maternity floor or ICU), then Kramer has much less freedom to hunt for rubber gloves in areas of the facility where he doesn’t belong.
- Finally, Kramer is the kind of character that would try to sneak into a hospital using a visitor badge from a previous visit. Badges that “expire” by changing color would expose that ploy.
If your hospital’s policies don’t yet account for the above scenarios for visitors (or, for that matter, for vendors), there’s good news. Solutions are readily available that you can implement almost immediately.
Now, that last statement may be hard to believe — especially when decisions surrounding a visitor management system can take a long time because they involve many stakeholders, including these departments:
- Human Resources
- Purchasing/Materials Management
- Any floors that will be affected by a visitor management system
Still, whatever degree of visitor management your hospital currently employs or desires, you can improve the situation fairly quickly with any or all of the following solutions, all available with color-changing, “expiring” technology:
Visitor Sign-In Books
Visitor Sign-In Books track and identify all visitors. When they sign in, they make a badge that expires (optional) and a private duplicate record, all at the same time. Fast and secure, these books ship within three business days – and are ideal both as an alternative to computerized visitor systems and as a backup to them.
Visitor Management Software
Visitor Management Software is easy to use for quick sign-in and badging, reliable data access, and convenient reporting. It includes rolls of self-expiring adhesive badges and a printer. Other equipment is also available.
Printable Badges come on rolls of labels that work with visitor management systems and DYMO® direct-thermal printers. So, if you already have these components, you may wish to consider this brand of badges, because they change color overnight to discourage re-use and to prevent re-entry.
Large organizations, like hospitals, that must consider many factors before implementing a computerized visitor management system, often start using manual visitor sign-in books in the meantime. This allows time for a thorough review of procedures and systems while still having something in place that neither costs very much nor requires an extensive approval process.
How quickly does your hospital want to implement security improvements? Click here for more information about the solutions described above, or to download the free whitepaper, “Your Guide to Choosing a Visitor Management System.”
Click here for a video introduction to our books and badges.
If you appreciated this article and want to receive more valuable industry content like this, click here to sign up for our FREE digital newsletters!
Leading in Turbulent Times: Effective Campus Public Safety Leadership for the 21st Century
This new webcast will discuss how campus public safety leaders can effectively incorporate Clery Act, Title IX, customer service, “helicopter” parents, emergency notification, town-gown relationships, brand management, Greek Life, student recruitment, faculty, and more into their roles and develop the necessary skills to successfully lead their departments. Register today to attend this free webcast!