What comes to mind when you think of sophistication in healthcare?
Perhaps it’s sterile labs with gleaming surfaces and glossy Petri dishes, or a touch-screen pager on a patient’s bedside table signaling each request to the appropriate employee. Maybe it’s well-placed ramps, brightly lit waiting areas and neatly organized supply rooms.
All of this is important, of course. It’s undoubtedly worth the investment to make sure a healthcare or senior care facility is not only up to code, but up to the highest standard of technology and modernity. After all, medicine is no longer simple herbs and spices.
Would anyone say no to upgrading their healthcare services to be more efficient and accurate, and less costly and outdated? Sure, the price involved can be a factor, but it’s all about where a facility’s priorities lie. Modernizing and upgrading is typically a necessary and worthwhile venture.
Equally significant, yet often overlooked, is the issue of reception and visitor management as it pertains to healthcare.
Picture it: Loads of people streaming into a facility each day, then fanning out to every area of the building. To verify and identify each one, your good old-fashioned logbook and receptionist should work just fine. Maybe there’s even an advanced computer system where desk staff can record visitor data. But this tried-and-true route will only prove dependable for so long.
In 2022, what healthcare administrator would authorize a paper punch card system over a digital attendance and payroll structure?
Likewise, visitor security in nursing homes needs to venture forward, not back. Medicine has come a long way and is still progressing at thrilling speed, but the accompanying features of the healthcare system need to get on board for the ride. Piles of paperwork are often associated with visiting a healthcare or senior care facility, but they don’t have to be.
Visitor data needs to be accessible, detailed and organized, and check-in should be a smooth and seamless process. Administrators need access to accurate and intuitive information on everyone coming and going from their facility at all times, including the reason for their visit and the duration of their stay. If the need arises for security to intervene, staff must be immediately notified of an unsafe individual.
There’s another glaring factor to account for in our post-pandemic era: infection. An invisible threat is far more difficult to keep at bay than one in view, yet COVID-19 has forced us to become resourceful and vigilant. The world is desperate to come back together, and implementing all tools at our disposal to identify and decrease the risk of contagion is crucial. An abundance of PPE is a good start. However, temperature checks, exposure evaluations and contact tracing need to become a standard and smooth procedure when it comes to securing residents, patients, staff and visitors.
A user-friendly and health-minded system is a sure-fire way to bring your facility’s security to its maximum potential. Stay alert and aware of who’s entering and exiting, and why, without pouring through a logbook. Digital visitor management systems will keep staff advised and informed, and let visitors know that the facility they’re entering is a modern, forward-thinking one.
Implementing technological advancements in healthcare, nursing and eldercare will help us push open the doors to our organizations once again — both literally and figuratively. All aspects of a truly innovative facility need to welcome the advancements that modern healthcare has to offer.
John Lefkowits is CEO of Advanced Entry, a visitor management solution specialized for senior care facilities and a grandson of a senior himself.
The opinions expressed in McKnight’s Long-Term Care News guest submissions are the author’s and are not necessarily those of McKnight’s Long-Term Care News or its editors.