The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the move toward a more modern approach to visitor management. Changes to visitor policies during the pandemic could serve as a catalyst for installing new and improved policies and security measures permanently. Now could be the perfect time to initiate a shift in your facility’s culture when it comes to safety and security.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, many hospital campuses still did not have strict visitor management policies. The Campus Safety 2020 Access Control, Lock and Lockdown Survey reported that 43% of healthcare respondents said their organization did not check a visitor’s identification before allowing entry. In the 2018 IAHSS Report, “The Effectiveness of Visitor Management in Hospitals,” only 33.1% of surveyed hospitals had electronic visitor management systems.
COVID-19 has demanded stricter visitor policies and screening, with security teams and facility managers having to quickly adjust to implement new processes for visitors, employees, and even patients.
These new policies are likely to remain with a permanent shift to more automated, stricter healthcare visitor management policies where visitors are identified and monitored. Passagepoint, from PDC IDenticard, is a visitor management software system that, with recent updates, can help healthcare security professionals manage these changes.
Here are eight visitor management best practices from COVID-19 that aren’t going anywhere and can be implemented using PDC IDenticard PassagePoint software.
1. Manage patient-specific restrictions with watch lists and personalized protocols
To assist with preventing the spread of the coronavirus, some hospitals are creating internal watch lists to manage specific patient restrictions. For example, they’ll create a watch list of “Coronavirus Quarantined Patients” to manage specific policies for COVID-19 patient guests. Passagepoint software then allows them to:
- Limit the number of guests per patient
- Create unique visitor rules and restrictions based on diagnosis and watch lists
- Integrate visitor management with your EHR system (Epic, Cerner, Meditech) to manage these patient-specific visitation policies
- Restrict specific guests from visiting
2. Clearly communicate your visitor restrictions
Your visitor management system is the first point of contact and therefore, it’s the front line for both the safety and security of your facility. Configure your visitor management system to provide clear communication of new and current policies during the outbreak so your guests aren’t confused. Clearly communicating policies and restrictions reduces frustrations and makes employees, visitors, and patients feel safer.
3. Pre-screen visitors and employees without using valuable human resources
Passagepoint visitor management software allows you to configure your workflow to prompt visitors to answer screening questions related to recent travel and current health status. Use the system to do this screening rather than stationing your staff at the entrances to do the questioning.
Web-based, mobile-friendly customizable questionnaires from Passagepoint also make daily pre-screening for employees possible. They provide a contactless process to administer a daily health screening questionnaire to employees before they ever leave home.
Questions are completely configurable. If the employee passes the screening, their existing access credential will be activated. If they fail the pre-screening, their access credential will be inactive for the day to restrict access to your facility.
4. Enable visitor self-registration workstations
Self-registration allows visitors to avoid interaction with a physical person. PassagePoint has a kiosk mode that can be enabled on a regular PC, Windows tablet, or all-in-one computer quickly and easily. This allows for more visitor registration workstations without the need for more staff involvement.
5. Institute visitor pre-registration and pre-approval
Allow your employees to manage visitors remotely via the web to pre-register visitors prior to arriving on premises. PassagePoint also has an optional Approver Process that can be implemented so management can monitor and approve or reject any visit requests. This advanced approval process can also aid in the control of the number of visitors allowed per site per given day.
6.Enhance access control for a complete visitor audit trail
PassagePoint currently has integrations with all the major access control systems. Using a QR code or barcode printed on your visitor badge, access can be granted or denied based on permission granted during the visitor sign-in process. Permission can also be determined based on visitor category or destination. This barcode technology can be enabled for door access, elevator access, and turnstiles and a complete audit trail can be created for every visitor to your facility.
This allows you to keep visitors out of restricted areas or COVID-19 treatment areas.
7. Begin badging the outpatient population
Outpatients with a scheduled appointment can be pushed into PassagePoint as a pre-registered visitor. When they arrive for their appointment, they’re issued a badge with a quick scan of their drivers license. This badge can have a different design from other visitor categories to identify them as an outpatient. This again allows you to better track who is in your facility and where.
8. Prioritize visitor reporting and communication
Many customers are using automated visitor reports to identify “visitors at risk” due to their whereabouts during their visit. PassagePoint has over 30 standard reports as well as a Custom Report Builder. These reports can be quickly run on-demand or they can be automatically scheduled and emailed to designated people on the desired timetable. This enables effective communication and tracking about who is in your hospital and who could be at risk due to COVID-19 exposure.
One size does not fit all when it comes to a visitor management system and approach. PDC IDenticard experts can help you find the right solution to meet the needs of your facility. Reach out today.