Visitor management is an ongoing challenge for hospitals. They see large visitor numbers every day, including vendors. A manual check-in process can easily lead to a long wait at the front desk. On top of that, it doesn’t give hospital staff visibility into who enters the building, why they are visiting, how long they stay, and whether they are compliant with visitor/vendor policies. Failure to monitor vendor compliance in particular can lead to serious consequences, such as monetary penalties and threats to patient safety.
The good news is that there are more efficient approaches to visitor management. Below are the five best practices hospitals can adopt to monitor visits from vendors and the general public:
Five Best Practices for Visitor Management
Replace Your Manual Systems
Manual check-in kiosks and pen-and-paper guest books have significant limitations and are subject to the following vulnerabilities:
- An inability to effectively process the sheer number of visitors who enter the facility.
- Reliance on visitor willingness to check in and out.
- Confidentiality issues.
- Legibility issues due to human error or poor writing.
- An inability to determine who remains in the building during an emergency evacuation.
- No way to determine if a visitor is a security risk.
- Few ways for staff to verify a visitor's identity or reason for visiting.
A digital vendor credentialing system, along with check-in technology such as the SEC³URE GO! badge, provides the tool to screen and track every vendor entering the building. Staff can quickly see a vendor’s visit information and compliance status on the badge.
Utilize a Comprehensive System for Vendor Management
Your vendor management systems must be agile enough to meet the needs of your facility. Check-in should be effortless and straightforward, taking only a few seconds for your commercial visitors to do. Healthcare vendor management software should let you capture the following data per visit:
- The name of the individual
- Company affiliation
- The length of time expected to be onsite
- The destination of the visit
- Whom the vendor is meeting
Given the importance of patient safety, a vendor management system should offer the ability to verify and screen vendors before they come onsite, as well as to track them while they are inside the facility. The robust tracking and reporting capabilities help hospitals pass compliance audits with ease.
Require Badges for All Visitors
Badges are an integral part of a hospital visitor management system, as the badge (or the lack thereof) tells staff whether or not a vendor or other guest has permission to access the building. Guest badges should include the visitor's picture, name, and the time and date they checked in. The badge should also make checking out easier by including a scannable barcode or connecting to a mobile app. Wearing of the badge throughout the hospital visit must be mandatory,
Educate Staff and Visitors on The Why Behind Your Process
Use clear signage to direct guests to your check-in kiosk, where they should find simple instructions to guide them through the sign-in process. Ideally, provide instruction in English, Spanish, and other languages. It’s also extremely helpful to provide information to guests, especially vendors, that explains the importance of checking in, checking out, and wearing badges.
Capture Data and Improve Processes
The data collected by hospital visitor management software provides valuable insight into visitor activity. Tracking such data allows you to generate reports quickly. Identifying peak visitor times lets you assign the correct number of staff to reception areas.
Final Thoughts on Visitor Management
Visitor management systems help hospitals monitor and control the revolving door of visitors while improving the safety of the care environment. Request a meeting for more information on how we can help fulfill your visitor management needs and how our vendor credentialing capabilities can benefit your staff, healthcare providers, and patients.
We hope you enjoyed reading this article. At IntelliCentrics, we have helped over 10,000 facilities improve their operational efficiencies, grow their revenue, and improve their compliance. Our digital technology has been optimized over 20 years to deliver best-in-class vendor and medical credentialing, as well as payer enrollment. If you would like to learn more, please click on the button below and schedule 15 minutes with one of our team members.