John Christly, manager of IT security and HIPAA security officer for Memorial Healthcare System, is excited about the implementation of a visitor management system.

At Memorial Healthcare System (MHS), a South Florida hospital system, a visitor management system is used to further secure the facilities and check in visitors and vendors.

Several years ago it was determined that a visitor management system was needed to ensure that each visitor produced proper identification (such as a driver’s license or passport) and had their photo taken. After doing so, they were issued a temporary ID sticker showing their photo, destination within the facility and the date of visit. Visitors were issued a temporary sticker of one color while vendors were issued a different color, to help differentiate the two different types of visitors.

Staff members at the facilities were trained to look for one of these temporary IDs on every person who was not an employee. They were also trained on how to appropriately approach someone who did not have a sticker and how to ask the person to come to security with them to obtain one.

Centrally Managed Visitor System

The system in use at MHS is a centrally managed system, meaning that it runs on one main database, and there are client-side installations at each facility. Each visitor management station gets equipped with a computer, digital camera, drivers license scanner, and temporary badge printer. Using this client-server design, security administrators are able to see visitor data across the enterprise by simply running queries or reports from within the system.

The introduction of the visitor management system has also enabled MHS to use a feature within the product to put certain people on a list that will trigger a popup message should that person try to enter any of the facilities. They do this to keep people out of the facilities who have caused issues in the past, such as disruptions (fights), or people that have tried to steal items from a facility. Users are also able to work with local law enforcement to scan their visitor records for visitors wanted by law enforcement, to assist in data sharing with the law enforcement groups.

The system also allows for vendor scheduling, which means that a security director at a facility can go into the system and enter a pending appointment with a vendor. The appointment is stored in the central system and is then available to the security officers when the vendor arrives on the day of the appointment. Conversely, if a vendor tries to get into the facility and does not have an appointment, the system can confirm those details and the security officer can either turn the vendor away or call the security director to see if they want to allow the vendor to come in.

Overall, the implementation of a visitor management system at MHS has allowed the facilities to secure their premises better and track their visitors much better than without a system. MHS now has detailed statistics on how many visit their facilities each day, week, month and year, which allows them to make better staffing decisions when it comes to security.