Best Practices for Implementing Visitor Management

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Best Practices for Implementing Visitor Management

This year, make a resolution to keep your facility safe and secure. One important part of a building security plan is visitor identification and management. Follow these six steps to implement a visitor management system at your facility.

  1. Select a visitor management system.
    It's important that the system include individual visitor ID cards and create a record of facility visitors. Most visitor management systems have refills, so your options are not limited by visitor volume.

  2. Implement access control.
    To control visitor access to your building, limit the number of public entrances. After determining your public entrance, make sure all other doors are locked. Employees can use HID cards to enter the building from other entrances while visitors are required to use the main public entrance.

  3. Determine a location for the visitor management system.
    Position the visitor login at an entrance near visitor parking or in the main lobby. Train your gatekeeper, the individual at the entrance, to administer the visitor management system. You may want to use a receptionist or security guard to sign-in visitors and hand out visitor ID cards.

  4. Train employees.
    Inform your employees that a visitor management system is a precaution you take to ensure their safety. Train employees how to use the system, so they can fully understand the procedure. Encourage employees to make visitors aware of the new system ahead of time for a smoother transition.

  5. Explain the policy to visitors.
    Make visitors aware of your new visitor management policy by posting signs on entrances. The signs should direct visitors to log in at a reception desk. If you have a large number of regular visitors, you may want to create a more permanent ID cards for them with preprinted visitor ID cards.

  6. Have visitors check out.
    With a visitor management system, it's equally important to know when visitors enter and exit your building. Require visitors to stop by the reception desk after their visit is complete to turn in their visitor card and check out. Adding this procedure to your policy will give you complete knowledge of who is in the building.

PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT: Visitor Login Book with Self-Expiring Badges

Easily identify and create a record of visitors in your building with a visitor login book. This version includes badges that are self-expiring. Pull the tab on the name badge when presenting it to the visitor, and a "void" message will appear after 24 hours. The expiring badges serve as an extra security feature that is visible to all.

CASE STUDY: Visitor Management at Community Hospital

Community Hospital is a 58-bed hospital in rural southwest Michigan that recently implemented a visitor management system. Even at its modest size, the hospital takes patient and employee security very seriously. To improve facility security, the hospital's security committee created a visitor management policy to identify the numerous vendors, visitors, and contractors that visit the hospital on a regular basis.

Previously, visitors were announced at the reception desk and permitted into the hospital without any form of identification. When creating the visitor management policy, the security committee wanted a Visitor Login System at each of the two public entrances. All visitors who enter through the front or emergency room doors must pass by a receptionist who asks them to sign in. The other entrances into the hospital require an HID card that is given only to employees.

The visitor management system at the hospital now requires all visitors to sign-in and wear an adhesive name badge. The name badge changes color after 24 hours to indicate that the badge has expired. More importantly, the login process creates a record off all visitors, so the hospital can track vendors and visitors in the building.

EXPERT'S CORNER: CREATE REWARD CARDS FOR RECOGNITION PROGRAMS

Depending on your organization's needs, you may want to add increased security procedures to your visitor management policy. Require visitors to show identification when they sign in to confirm their identity. You may also require visitors to be escorted by an employee while in the building. This is a great way to make sure everyone in the building is safe and accounted for.

ID card or ID card printer questions? Send them to me at experts@idville.com. Your question may be featured in the next issue of our Identify Newsletter!

David, IDville ID Specialist
experts@idville.com