Make your healthcare premises more safe and secure with the top five benefits of visitor management for patient safety.
All healthcare managers will understand the importance of patient safety and security. Without it, a healthcare institution’s reputation could be severely damaged and, in the worst cases, patients might not recover at all if their security is breached by unauthorised intruders. However, there are a number of benefits of visitor management for patient safety which can help to provide a more secure environment for staff and patients alike. In this article, we’ll examine the top five reasons for installing a visitor management system.
With a properly installed visitor management system in your healthcare facility, you will have the opportunity to track people as they make their way around the building. This means being able to track patients’ visitors, for example, to ensure that they are staying in the correct areas of the institution – ie the ones open to the public. With a digital access authorisation being issued at reception, for example, your security team can monitor where visitors are going and if they attempt to slip into clinical treatment areas unnoticed. Their position can be monitored in a number of ways including live visual feeds from webcams and CCTV. Bear in mind that this all happens in real time without the need to trawl through old tapes because some erratic behaviour may be suspected. You can watch those people your team feel suspicious about as closely as you like.
Getting into a hospital, a care home or a hospice should not be possible without the proper authorisation. There again, healthcare facilities should not feel like prisons, either. Balancing the needs of genuine visitors – such as repair operatives, for example – to get in with the need to deny access to people who have no business at the facility is never easy.
This is better achieved with digital access control systems which make visitors sign in, perhaps offering some biometric data to prove who they are, and issuing a card which allows access to the parts of the building they need to get to whilst preventing access to areas where they have no right to be. Such access control may function on a timed basis, with access rights being denied after visiting hours are over, for instance. Smart technology now makes it simpler for reception staff to provide temporary access passes which can’t be handed on, shared or used in the future to gain unwarranted access.
One of the most important benefits of visitor management for patient safety is the ability to help in the event of an emergency evacuation. Modern access control systems may prevent certain doors from being opened in one direction but never the reverse so that patients can get out in the event of a fire, for example.
If intruders break in and attack patients or staff, then an emergency evacuation may be hampered by the movements of the criminals involved. By controlling access rights, it becomes possible to evacuate patients and staff without providing additional access routes for intruders. Of course, if you need to evacuate the entire building or put it into a shutdown, then an accurate record of who is on site will be needed for the emergency services and this is something that a proper visitor management system can provide in seconds.
Displaying the responsibilities of all visitors to a healthcare facility is important, especially when they will be near vulnerable patients. A full visitor management system provides ample methods for having visitors understand the latest health and safety policy updates they are expected to comply with. This can be done by signing off on digitally displayed terms and conditions, for example. You can even send updates or changes to visitors via their mobile phones or through a downloadable app.
Although speeding up check-in at a healthcare facility is what attracts many hospital managers to a digitised visitor management system, it is the flexible control that is offered that is the real game changer. Badges and access cards can be issued rapidly if someone with authorisation has genuinely forgotten theirs whilst denying the access rights of the old card so that it cannot be used by someone else. Suspicious visitors can find their access rights are altered so that they can only make their way out of the facility and not go any further in. Updates to health and safety procedures can be integrated into such a system and, finally, you can pick and choose visitor hours to suit patient needs rather than what benefits visitors.
VisiPoint offers all of the benefits of visitor management for patient safety listed above and many more. Contact us to find out more about the ideal visitor management and sign-in solution for your facility and make your care home, hospice or hospital a more secure place for patients.