Waiting Is Unacceptable to Visitors, Too

How visitor management solutions add security and minimize wait times.

We have all experienced having to wait a long time in a doctor’s office. That experience is compounded when the situation is an emergency. It is easy to find stories online about this problem. Just last month, a man died while waiting for treatment in a Connecticut hospital.

Yet, while reducing wait times for patients is a serious challenge for hospitals, they also have to pay attention, as part of the overall patient experience, to their visitors. That experience begins in the lobby.

Hospitals vary widely in their approach to managing visitors. It would seem that the more secure a visitor management process, the longer it takes to follow. For example, in hospitals where visitors come and go freely, there’s no waiting at all. But there’s also no control, unless they utilize door locks and security guards.

At the other end of the time (and expense) spectrum are lobbies that issue personalized visitor access-control cards, which add security when guests are allowed to enter unescorted. These require the receptionist (or kiosk) to collect information from the visitor and take their photograph (or pull it from a government-issued I.D. card).

Fortunately, as systems evolved, they got more efficient as well as more secure. Using a computer to sign visitors in can save time at the front desk. This method typically provides an I.D. badge, often with a photograph, as well as a record of the visit that becomes part of the organization’s database. In this case, a visitor’s record can be easily retrieved the next time they visit, which expedites the process.

Optional card readers and scanners speed up the process even further. If a visitor isn’t already in your database, a quick scan of a driver’s license or business card is all it takes to capture most key information about a visit. Then you just print a badge with a click of the mouse.

Pre-registration of visitors helps too. If you know a particular visitor or group of visitors is coming in for a meeting, their information can be added to the system ahead of time. This practice allows visitors to sign in even more quickly, reducing lines in your lobby.

Visitor Management Software

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“eVisitorPass” visitor management software

The “eVisitorPass” Visitor Management Software is amazingly affordable and easy to use for quick sign-in and badging, reliable cloud-based data access, and convenient reporting. It includes rolls of self-expiring adhesive badges and a printer. Other equipment is also available.

Still, there is always the chance any computer system can malfunction or lose power. A hospital may also decide not to use it during off hours, when visiting is light or when the usual operator of a computerized VMS has gone home for the day.

In that case, some facilities use a manual system as a backup. Many of these offer either a visitor badge (with no record) or a log book (with no badge). Neither is as complete as the computer system for which it substitutes. But, if you use both, the time it takes visitors to fill out their information twice – on the badge and in the book – could create a long line at the front desk and much inconvenience and frustration.


The “automatic” Visitor Sign-In Book

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The “Visitor Pass Registry Book”

Fortunately, this Visitor Sign-In Book provides as close to an automated solution as there is without plugging it in. It tracks and identifies all visitors. When they sign in, they get an adhesive badge, while at the same time, a confidential record of their visit gets created. Fast and secure, these books are ideal both as an alternative to computerized visitor systems and as a backup to them.

You have many options when it comes to managing the visitors that come through your lobby. Getting the right balance of security, efficiency, and visitor convenience is up to you. Click here for more information about the solutions described above; you may also download the free whitepaper, “Your Guide to Choosing a Visitor Management System.”



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