ID Card Systems - Why Identify?

The Case for Secure Environments in Business, Education, Healthcare and Government

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Just as your DNA identifies you from a biological standpoint, your photo identification is a multi-functional document that identifies you by sight. A photo ID is required for building access, banking functions, driving a car and even picking up a package.

In many industries it's important to identify staff, patients, visitors and students. Not only are you identifying who is authorized to be on the premises each day, you are also identifying visitors who may, or may not, have a legitimate reason to be on the grounds at all.

There are many reasons to identify, however let's take a look at two critical reasons why your business or school should invest in an ID card system: security and efficiency.

Limited Access Creates a More Secure Environment

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health research establishes an access card as a prevention strategy for workplace violence. A proximity, or what is sometimes referred to as a smart card, is commonly used to limit access to rooms, buildings and grounds. Other applications include payment or public transit fare cards.

From a security standpoint, the staff or student would need to pass the card over a reader in order to access a gate or door. Proximity cards can easily be turned into a photo ID card by printing a digital image on an adhesive plastic card that attaches to the existing access card. This also saves cost during an authorized personnel change since the proximity card does not have to be re-programmed, only the adhesive ID badge needs to be removed.

Safety on School Grounds

Mandatory ID badges for college students and faculty are more common than for middle or high school students, but a case can be made for their use in secondary or even elementary schools. A Principals' Partnership research brief summarized findings from three participating high schools. Their research provided the following themes about ID badge use among students and staff:

  • Helps to create a safe atmosphere within the school
  • More inviting than metal detectors, security guards and video cameras
  • Are inexpensive in comparison to other methods
  • Make it possible to address other students and teachers personally
  • Decrease discipline problems through accurate identification of students
  • Create a sense of school spirit
  • Easily integrate with school programs such as library access and food service

Debate continues in the education field when it comes to the use of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and Biometrics as a way to identify and monitor students. RFID technology uses radio waves and an embedded tag to track activity, while Biometrics apply an individual's unique physical attributes as a means of identification through voice, retinal or fingerprint scans. Practical applications include deterring lunch money theft through a pre-loaded debit card, or allowing parents to monitor a child's eating patterns by preventing the purchase of junk food.

In addition, the use of a visitor management system is key to the daily operation of school grounds. Identifying visitors by a check-in and check-out process that includes wearing a name tag allows for thorough documentation of who is on campus, why and for how long. This can easily be achieved with an ID card system, or with log-in binders and pre-designed visitor badges and lanyards.

Avoid Security Breaches at Hospitals and Medical Centers

Thousands of patients, vendors and visitors walk the hallways of hospitals every day. As facilities move towards electronic file keeping, so increases the possibility of security breaches. A recent study indicates 1.5 million Americans have been victims of medical identity theft costing over $28.6 billion in damages.

Exceptional patient care and service is the objective for any healthcare facility, in addition to maintaining compliance with OSHA regulations and eligibility for accreditation by the Joint Commission.

A recent Health Facilities Management article points to the creation of an instant audit trail through the use of access/ID cards. A detailed log of the cardholder's identity, credentials and a time/date stamp generates each time a card is swiped or scanned. Access can also be limited through the use of a card reader based on pre-programmed information loaded to a bar code or magnetic stripe printed directly on the ID card.

Requiring photo ID for all staff as well as protecting sensitive medical information access through the use of a proximity card shores up security. ID card system software helps you create bold, ID badge designs that highlight an employee's credentials through conditional display options in the design phase.

An ID card system can also be used to create visitor and vendor ID badges, plus create security reports for consistent monitoring, or as a reference point should any incidences occur.

Building Everyday Efficiencies: Using an ID Badge to Work Smarter

Now more than ever organizations are looking for ways to work smarter, incorporating processes to be streamlined and efficient. A good place to start is the use of ID badges for time and attendance management.

According to an Aberdeen Group study, 88% of Best in Class companies automate their time and attendance collection; 86% integrate time and attendance with payroll. From a compliance standpoint, the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and laws in most states require employers to keep accurate records of hours worked by non-exempt employees.

An ID card system seamlessly integrates time and attendance with a photo ID, eliminating the use of multiple cards. By automating the process you're also saving time by eliminating long hours spent compiling manual payroll data.

Combining Student Services and Access on a Single ID Card

An American School & University article points to the many practical student ID card functions at both the high school and college level.

At its most basic, a student ID card identifies the student and holds important information like a student ID number. There are more sophisticated applications for a student ID card including access to residence halls, quick equipment check-out, admittance to student activities, computer lab access, food service, or even coupon cards students redeem at local merchants. As a debit card, a student ID card transforms into a bank card that can used at vending machines, laundry facilities, the cafeteria, or linked to ATMs for cash withdrawal.

Cutting Time and Cost in the Patient Identification Process

According to an American Hospital Association study, U.S. hospitals shoulder annual expenses of over $690 billion. This may be a staggering number, but consider these hospitals serve over 290 million people nationwide on a daily basis with trained staff, expensive equipment and costly treatments. And hospitals aren't the only ones incurring costs. Hospital charges represent about a third of our total healthcare spending - $718 billion altogether, according to a Forbes study.

The use of an ID card system extends beyond traditional identification and access capabilities. The California HealthCare Foundation reports adoption of patient kiosks is on the rise. Hospitals are implementing these self-service stations to expedite outpatient and emergency room check-in; however the practical applications include very routine tasks such as insurance verification or patient education. The capabilities of a patient kiosk depend on budget, but also technologies a hospital or medical center is willing to put into practice.

The Medical Group Management Association is calling for the adoption of swipe card technology which it says could save the industry $1 billion a year. Using patient ID cards with magnetic stripes enables a healthcare professional to call up valuable information in seconds by using a card reader. Instead of time-consuming photocopies of each individual's insurance card, this technology cuts the time a patient must take to identify herself or himself to a provider. There are also claim adjudication applications, as well as the ability to generate information on benefits and co-pays with a swipe of a card.

ID Card Systems: Identify Added Benefits

An ID card system pays for itself in the long run. With functions well beyond standard digital imaging, you'll see both hard and soft returns on your investment from a budget, security and overall morale perspective. In addition, you'll streamline common processes to save time otherwise spent on paper filing and reporting.

IDville's team of software engineers have been at it for over 20 years bringing you the world's best printing and publishing solutions. Our ID Maker software represents years of listening to our customers' needs and is a tool you will find powerful yet intuitive and easy to operate. The IDville team of technical support staff and customer service representatives is knowledgeable and they are some of the friendliest people you will ever meet over the phone.

Our team has been meeting your ID needs for almost a decade, whether you're in the healthcare industry, government sector or education field, we've got what you need to increase security through identification. Give us a call today at (866) 438-4553 or email us at service@IDville.com; we're always ready and willing to help.