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What is HL7 & Why Is It Important for Healthcare Visitor Management?

Posted by Dan Ryan on Sep 21, 2017 11:30:00 AM

Like most heavily regulated bodies, the healthcare industry is full of important acronyms.

Many of these acronyms are terms most people will be familiar with, like HIPAA, RN, CNA and HMO. Those are healthcare acronyms the majority of people have encountered at one point or another.

However, one of the more important healthcare acronyms is one that the average patient or hospital visitor has probably never heard before:

HL7.

If you're thinking "what the heck is that?", you're not alone.

Unless you work for a hospital in some sort of administrative, IT or security capacity, chances are you've never encountered the term.

However, HL7 is something that is key to nearly every healthcare facility, and plays a particularly important role in healthcare Visitor Management.

What is HL7?

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Topics: Visitor Management, PassagePoint, healthcare regulations, HL7, healthcare, healthcare Visitor Management

3 Steps You Can Take to Increase Hospital Security

Posted by Dan Ryan on Sep 8, 2017 10:00:00 AM

When you see the headline, it feels like a bad case of déjà vu. Unfortunately, it's reality: violent incidents have put hospital security practices back in the news.

Last week, a psychiatric patient attempted to strangle a nurse at Montreal General hospital in Montreal, Quebec.

According to the Montreal Gazette, a 25-year-old patient attacked a nurse during the night shift, choking her with his bare hands and throwing her to the floor.

Thankfully, the attack was stopped by a staff member who, by chance, walked by the nurse's station, saw the commotion and stepped in.

The narratives that emerged after the incident were pretty familiar: the nurses and doctors blamed the administration for insufficient staffing, the administration blamed the security providers, the security providers blamed the administration.

Remarkably, that wasn't the only recent incident north of the border: a mental-health patient stabbed a fellow patient at an Ontario hospital back in late August.

There are similar themes in all of these incidents: budgets were cut and decisions were made without taking security into consideration.

Safety, not budget, should be the real bottom line

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Topics: Visitor Management, healthcare, healthcare Visitor Management

The Hospital Dilemma: Balancing Security & A Welcoming Atmosphere

Posted by Dan Ryan on Aug 11, 2017 1:00:00 PM

On the surface, it seems like the ultimate contradiction: you want to welcome guests and make it easy for them to visit while also having security measures, like a Visitor management system, in place that are strict enough to keep your facility safe.

It seems impossible, like you're asking to go swimming without getting wet. Some things simply don't go together.

This is the safety dilemma faced by many large organizations on a daily basis, but one industry finds this to be a particularly vexing problem: healthcare.

Running a successful hospital comes with a long list of requirements, among them two that directly clash: welcoming guests and patients while also keeping security tight.

As we've discussed before, hospitals are, unfortunately, fertile grounds for violent incidents.

Whether it's a disgruntled spouse, a former patient holding a grudge or a family member blaming a doctor for the death of a loved one, hospitals are filled with a powder keg of emotion on a daily basis.

With an environment that is so emotionally charged, it would make sense to strictly limit the number of people allowed on site; however, a facility that discourages guests is a facility that isn't going to have much success.

The solution is clear: hospitals must find the happy medium between security and easy visitor access.

But how?

Security and welcoming guests don't need to be mutually exclusive

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Topics: Visitor Management, healthcare, healthcare Visitor Management, building security, healthcare security

3 Reasons Why Visitor Management Is of Extra Importance in Healthcare

Posted by Dan Ryan on Jul 26, 2017 1:00:00 PM

We've spent a lot of time in this blog talking about why Visitor Management is important for sites of all kinds.

While the specifics may vary depending on the industry, the basis of every Visitor Management system is the desire to keep a site and its personnel safe from harm.

This desire applies to all kinds of worksites, from hospitals to factories and everything in between.

However, it's not a stretch to say that Visitor Management is a little more important for overall safety and security in a few industries. Healthcare is one of those industries.

We recently discussed calls for increased safety at healthcare facilities and how a good Visitor Management system goes a long way toward achieving that goal of increased safety.

You may be wondering, "what makes healthcare so different? Isn't building safety basically the same everywhere?"

While it's true that there are common threads between site safety at all kinds of workplaces, there are unique aspects of healthcare facilities that make the need for hospital Visitor Management a little more pressing.

The unique safety challenges hospitals face

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Topics: Visitor Management, hospital security, guest safety, facility safety, healthcare, healthcare Visitor Management, hospital visitor management

Calls for Stronger Healthcare Workplace Violence Prevention Measures Continue

Posted by Dan Ryan on Jul 21, 2017 11:00:00 AM

It's a sad reality: those who work to protect the most vulnerable among us are in turn among the most susceptible to violent outbursts and attacks while on the job.

As we discussed in a previous blog post, studies have shown that healthcare workers have a rate of workplace violence that is 20% higher than workers in other industries.

This means that doctors, nurses, surgeons and other technicians are far more likely to be harmed on the job than office workers, retail employees and others in the general employment population.

These people work tirelessly to help their patients get healthy, saving lives on a regular basis. For decades, violent outbursts at hospitals and other healthcare facilities have been unfairly swept under the rug and viewed as "part of the job."

However, those attitudes are beginning to change, and the change is starting with the workers themselves.

Employees are saying "no more" to workplace violence

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Topics: Visitor Management, healthcare, healthcare Visitor Management, healthcare security

The Importance of Watch Lists in Hospital Visitor Management

Posted by Dan Ryan on Jun 21, 2017 2:00:00 PM

One of the main goals of any hospital is to keep the people inside, whether they're staff, patients or visitors, safe from harm.

While this goal isn't limited to hospitals (factories, schools, office buildings and other sites all want to keep their personnel safe too), safety and security are taken particularly seriously at healthcare facilities

It may be because of the vulnerability of the people receiving treatment inside, or due to the desire to ensure that people wracked by anxiety over a loved one's condition don't have anything else to worry about.

Regardless of the specific impetus, hospital administrators and security staff spend countless hours reviewing Visitor Management procedures, fine-tuning security plans, monitoring video and training for particular incidents.

It's obvious, but a security director or hospital administrator would be able to sleep a lot more soundly if he or she knew the facility was doing everything it could to keep potential threats from ever accessing the building.

This, of course, seems obvious: if you keep nefarious characters outside, you drastically decrease the likelihood of those characters harming anyone at your facility.

The problem is that it's difficult to identify troublemakers before they come inside, right?

Wrong.

Watch lists serve as a first line of defense

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Topics: Visitor Management, PassagePoint, hospital security, healthcare Visitor Management, hospital visitor management, healthcare security, healthcare tips

Beyond the Lobby: 4 Areas of Your Hospital That Would Benefit From Visitor Management

Posted by Dan Ryan on Jun 16, 2017 11:30:00 AM

Take a second to picture a stereotypical Visitor Management installation. The kind of system doesn't really matter — it could be a software system, a log book or even just a package of expiring visitor badges on a desk.

Now...where in this imaginary facility is the installation located?

If you're like most people, you picture a Visitor Management system sitting in the lobby of a building, whether it's the ground floor of a multi-tenant office building or the entryway of a school.

Hospitals aren't much different: if you picture a hospital Visitor Management system in your mind, you're probably going to see it in the lobby.

It makes sense: hospitals are extremely busy places, oftentimes bordering on chaotic. This makes guest management key, and the first place that guests visit is usually the lobby.

However, many hospitals find putting Visitor Management systems in their main lobby to be an overwhelming task, as there are so many moving parts and factors to consider.

This can lead organizations to put off installing a Visitor Management system entirely, opting to postpone the expense and stress until they're better equipped to handle it.

But procrastination like this leaves a facility vulnerable and ignores a big detail that many hospitals overlook: there are several other "smaller" places where a hospital can effectively install a Visitor Management system.

Visitor Management doesn't need to be limited to the lobby

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Topics: Visitor Management, healthcare, healthcare Visitor Management, visitor management for maternity wards, emergency room visitor management

Watch Lists, User Levels & More: A Glossary of Important Visitor Management Terms

Posted by Dan Ryan on Jun 9, 2017 1:00:00 PM

We spend a lot of time on this blog talking about Visitor Management.

In fact, as of the publishing date of this post, Visitor Management was the most-covered topic on the blog

We've covered questions to ask, problems to solve, enhancements made and more, all in an effort to help people better understand this complicated topic.

However, it occurred to us recently that there are some Visitor Management basics that we had failed to cover, namely terms and concepts that are second-nature to Visitor Management experts but may as well be a foreign language to newcomers.

In the interest of helping current and potential customers be better educated, we've curated a series of terms that we think anyone exploring a Visitor Management system should know.

Consider this a Visitor Management dictionary, offering a simple, straightforward explanation of terms, concepts and ideas that you'll encounter as you search for a system.

SMS alerts, standalone systems, visitor reports...

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Topics: WhosOnLocation, Visitor Management, expiring visitor badges, TEMPbadge, TEMPbadge VMS, healthcare Visitor Management, office visitor management

How Visitor Management Can Increase Security By Stopping Hospital Intruders

Posted by Dan Ryan on Mar 22, 2017 11:30:00 AM

When a surgical procedure is being performed at a hospital, it's common for there to be a half dozen or more people present in the operating room.

These people include the obvious, like the patient and the surgeon, but also include anesthesiologists, nurses, technicians and students who are observing the surgery.

A person you don't expect to find in the operating room: a random woman who is posing as a medical professional and wandering around the hospital.

However, that's just what happened at a major, globally-respected hospital in Boston.

While hospitals, as a result of being large, open facilities, are inevitably going to deal with intruders, the security breach that occurred in Boston was particularly egregious:

A former medical student was able to gain access to a variety of different rooms and areas in the hospital, wearing the same scrubs as doctors, nurses and surgeons.

An intruder in the operating room? Believe it.

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Topics: Visitor Management, hospital security, healthcare Visitor Management, hospital tips, visitor management systems

4 Ways to Improve a Hospital Visitor Program

Posted by Dan Ryan on Feb 17, 2017 2:00:00 PM

Visiting a loved one in the hospital can be a stressful experience.

With the exception of going to see a newborn baby, a hospital visit is rarely a happy occasion. Hospital visitors are often pretty stressed out, and it's not hard to see why.

While you don't want to add any unnecessary obstacles to a visitors' path toward seeing their loved ones, it's still important for healthcare facilities to screen all guests, for both staff and patient safety.

However, it's equally important to ensure that your hospital Visitor Management solution doesn't cause anxiety or increase stress for your guests.

To put it simply, you want your Visitor Management solution to work, without putting undue duress on the guests.

Learn how to make things easier on your guests

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Topics: Visitor Management, healthcare, healthcare Visitor Management, visitor management systems

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