Entry management systems have become commonplace in every type of secure facility — nursing homes, hospitals, government buildings and doctor’s offices, just to name a few. 

Sometimes, the process consists of a couple of receptionists and clipboards. Often, it’s a sophisticated sensor and camera stationed at the door. 

But wherever safety and organization are imperative, there’s a process in place to monitor everyone heading in and out.

So what should facilities do to use entry to their advantage? The moment a guest, employee or vendor steps into your facility is a crucial one. Let’s dive into how to leverage it and put your facility’s best foot forward. 

First and foremost, there’s security. An obvious factor, but always an essential one. When it comes to tracking guests’ identity, the purpose of their visit and whether they’re cleared for entry, a visitor management system is absolutely indispensable.  If a serious security threat does occur, sifting through a paper system for visitor records often won’t do the trick. An automated system also provides an immediate, efficient staff response, notifying all personnel of the risk at hand. 

Automated entry management is also a surefire way to streamline human resources. We’ve come a long way from punch cards. Keeping your facility’s staff orderly and organized is now easier than ever. An automated system seamlessly tracks all employees, uploading data online for easy review and analysis. With the touch of a button or the scan of a face, time and attendance are easily accessible and unfailingly accurate. 

A pro not to be missed is good public relations for your organization: telling visitors who you are, what makes you you, and why people should keep coming back. Customize your messaging and design to incorporate your entry point with your brand. Upon exiting, invite your visitors to leave their feedback and spread the word about your organization. Loop all visitors in with important facility updates greeting them at the door. Simply having a polished visitor management system in place is already a major PR plus, giving visitors an excellent impression of your facility the minute they step inside.

Finally, there’s operations. With everyone integrated into the same system, it’s simpler than ever to keep all on course with meetings, events and company-wide broadcasts. A quick SMS or email blast, or a short message upon entry, makes facility-wide announcements smoother than ever. 

Apply these to vendors, residents, employees or guests, pushing relevant updates to each group. You can let your staff know that a last-minute standup is taking place in the lobby or tell guests about a recent change in visiting hours. With a system in place to collect identity and contact info for each visitor, employee or any other guest, integration is more than possible — it’s a breeze. 

An entry point isn’t just a barrier between your building and the outside world — it’s your gateway to success. Ushering guests into a welcoming environment with a crisp, competent atmosphere creates an irreplaceable first impression. Brand it, optimize it and use it to make your reception experience stand out from the crowd. 

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.