If you’re involved in security within a healthcare facility, you’re responsible for the safety of all people within the building – visitors, employees, and patients. Balancing the wants and needs of these parties in a healthcare facility can be difficult, especially when attempting to create a secure and welcoming site.

Visibly identifying all visitors is extremely important in creating a safer hospital campus. It allows staff and patients to know who is allowed onsite with just a glance, creating a secure environment for staff to care for patients.

PDC has been a leader in healthcare identification for over 65 years, including visitor identification. Below are some healthcare visitor identification best practices to help support your safety goals while also keeping the visitor check-in process both efficient and welcoming.

1. Close the Loop of Identification 

Use Visitor ID badges to identify all people within a hospital. Most staff, patients, and vendors are identified with some sort of ID badge; add visitors to that list in order to make sure everyone on site has some sort of visual identification. No one should be walking around your facility without a highly visible ID badge attached to their person. With healthcare workers being five times more likely to be a victim of workplace violence than all other occupations combined (1), protocols for visitor management are a vital piece of ensuring safety.

2. Keep Visitors From Re-entry After Hours

Time Expiring Visitor Badges help hospital staff easily identify visitors who have exceeded their allotted visiting hours, and provide an extra layer of security by preventing re-use. Time-expiring badges are ideal for general identification, or high-security areas such as labor and delivery, ICU, or the ER. With just a quick glance, your staff will know that a visitor is no longer allowed to be onsite.

3. Print Essential Details on Your Visitor ID Badge

We recommend including a headshot, first and last name, patient room #, and “valid until” date on all visitor badges. It’s crucial to make sure all visitor ID badges have the needed information so your staff can confirm the visitor’s identity and where they’re allowed to be at any time. 

4. Choose the Right Thermal Printer

Thermal Printers are compact, efficient, and cost-effective, giving you the option to print expiring or non-expiring badges. They allow you to print a high-quality direct thermal image, such as a headshot, on visitor ID badges with minimal downtime and easy implementation. Given the fact these printers don’t require ink or toner, they are also more eco-friendly than other print methods. We recommend going with an open-core printer, such as the Certis® B4 thermal printer, in order to avoid the potential pitfalls (high-priced labels or vulnerability to supply chain shortages) of media-locked printers like the Dymo 550.

5. Track Visitors Throughout Your Facility with a Printed Barcode

Adding barcodes to your facility’s visitor ID badges can enable visitors to easily scan in and out of your facility for easy access. Implementing a barcode check-in/check-out policy enables you to know who is still on site, and when they left. This information is key for emergency situations and tracking the number of visitors per patient. 

To make scanning in visitors even easier, we recommend choosing clip-on style badges so visitors can easily take their badges off, scan them on a turnstile or door, then put them back on. If your visitor badges are adhesive, scanning them at entry points could be difficult if they’ve adhered to your visitor’s clothing.

Reach out to PDC to talk through your visitor management policies and opportunities. Our experts can help you make your facility a safer, more secure workplace.

Source: Impact In Healthcare

Best Practices for Visitor Identification in Healthcare Facilities
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Best Practices for Visitor Identification in Healthcare Facilities
Learn how to help support safety goals in your facility while also keeping the visitor check-in process both efficient and welcoming.
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Luciano Arnone is a Marketing Coordinator at PDC where he enjoys creating content about the most recent topics in healthcare, patient identification, patient safety, and more. Before joining PDC, he worked at a local urgent care clinic, getting first hand experience of managing operations in a healthcare facility and finding solutions when necessary. Luciano found interest in research and content creation while studying at San Francisco State University, where he graduated with a degree in Marketing. Originally from Burbank, CA, Luciano now lives in Valencia, CA where he enjoys nature hikes and playing soccer in his free time.