A significant action you can take to better maintain overall safety is having a visitor management policy that keeps threatening individuals out of your hospital and alleviates the challenges of screening and tracking every individual who comes into your facility. Below are the top five practices hospitals should consider when developing a visitor management policy.
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1. Replace Your Outdated Pen-and-Paper Guest Log
Pen-and-paper guest logs present many potentially problematic issues to hospitals and similar organizations. Guest entries are frequently illegible and inefficient, and they do virtually nothing to identify the visitor or determine whether a given person is safe to admit. Many unwanted or banned visitors—such as disgruntled ex-employees, persons with a history of confrontation with hospital staff, or even registered sex offenders trying to enter a children’s hospital—gain access to hospitals when the only requirement is to write their names in a logbook. Outdated paper guest logs also make it nearly impossible for building personnel to quickly verify who is in the building should there be a need to evacuate.
2. Require That All Visitors Wear Badges
Visitor badges make it easy for hospital staff to quickly determine if someone roaming the halls has checked in at the front desk or if they have bypassed security. Best practice is to display the visitor’s photo and name and the check-in date and time. To simplify sign-out processes, badges can also include a barcode that automatically signs the visitor out of the system when it’s scanned.
3. Communicate the Sign-In Process to Visitors and Staff
Hospital visitors, especially on their initial visit, can be overwhelmed by the busy lobby and having to figure out where to sign in. To make this process less overwhelming, clear signage should direct visitors to the registration area, and if using, your self-service kiosk should have step-by-step instructions—preferably in multiple languages—that guide visitors through the sign-in process.
Hospital staff must also understand your visitor management policy. You can accomplish this by having a comprehensive training to (1) introduce the new policy and requirements and (2) train staff on how to use the visitor management system and/or the self-service kiosk. This training should be included in any employee onboarding training, as well as offered periodically throughout the year.
4. Document All Entrances and Know How to Secure Them
Your visitor management policy must document every entrance so hospital security knows every door that a visitor can use to access your building. With the entrances identified, you need to decide how you want to monitor the door; some doors may have locks or access control tools, while other entrances may require guards or a receptionist to greet visitors.
5. Use Captured Visitor Data to Streamline Your Hospital Operations
Tracking visitors and their data gives you insight into your hospital activity levels. Accurate visitor reporting will let you identify busy times, so you can adequately staff your reception desks and lobbies. Electronic visitor management systems also let you record every detail of each visit, so you can quickly view reports for your entire facility. And, if there is ever a need to evacuate, hospital security can instantly create a list of current visitors to account for during emergencies.
Comprehensive systems like LobbyGuard Visitor Management gives you complete line of sight by screening and tracking everyone who walks into your facility. The LobbyGuard self-service kiosk guides visitors through the efficient sign in process, screens each visitor for red flags, and prints visitor badges—all with little to no support from hospital staff. LobbyGuard’s robust system also sends notifications when a vendor signs into the system for a specific meeting and has the option for visitors to confirm they have acknowledged your policies and procedures with their signature.
With LobbyGuard, you can be confident that the hundreds of family members, vendors, delivery personnel, and other visitors who come into your medical facility are screened, approved, and safe.