Help your customers meet OSHA Visitor Management guidelines
The latest trends will impact your healthcare customers — are you prepared?
OSHA is the most important work-related regulatory body in the US. It has some thoughts on Visitor Management your customers need to read.
- Specific recommendations surrounding Visitor Management
- Inform your customers early to get them in line
- Become an expert to better serve your customers
As a government regulatory body, the main goal of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is to keep American workers safe on the job. OSHA monitors hundreds of industries across the US, but pays particularly close attention to one that involves a large segment of your customers: healthcare.
Why does OSHA keep a close eye on healthcare?
It makes sense, if you really think about it: healthcare workers deal with life-and-death situations on a daily basis, meaning it’s crucial to ensure there are regulations, rules and procedures in place. Doctors and nurses can only work so many consecutive hours, for example, or there must always be a station readily available for hand washing prior to surgery.
Recently, however, OSHA has started turning an eye towards safety of a different kind: workplace safety for healthcare employees. Statistics from a 2015 OSHA report showed that healthcare workers had a rate of workplace violence that was 20% higher than those in other industries.
For that reason, OSHA has taken a closer look at all aspects of a healthcare workplace, and has come up with a set of guidelines designed improve safety for healthcare workers, visitors and patients alike. One area that should be of particular interest to our partners? Visitor Management.
What does OSHA recommend for healthcare Visitor Management?
While OSHA is capable of getting actual legislation on the books, its Visitor Management guidelines are just that: guidelines. There’s no weight of law behind them; however, other bodies, like The Joint Commission, look toward OSHA for guidance, meaning these are “guidelines” in name only. If OSHA and The Joint Commission suggest something, your healthcare customers will be following suit.
Therefore, if two large regulatory bodies are suggesting something be implemented, it’s a safe bet that you’ll be fielding calls from interested customers. Before we get into how partners can help, it’s important to know what OSHA recommends.
Here are OSHA’s recommendations for healthcare Visitor Management, from their 2015 report on healthcare workplace safety:
- “Specific sign-in/sign-out procedures” — applies to all traveling workers, contractors and guests
- Record data for all visiting employees — includes name, patients seen, contact information and more
- “Institute sign-in procedures” — suggests issuing visitor badges to all guests
- “Enforce visitor hours and procedures” — come up with a visitor plan and stick with it
- “Establish a list of restricted visitors” — watch lists are designed to keep unwelcome guests out
How can you help your healthcare customers with Visitor Management?
Each OSHA suggestion listed above can be met with a comprehensive Visitor Management system. In this way, solving your customers’ Visitor Management problems isn’t as difficult as it may seem: customers will be looking for a solution, and you’ll be ready to provide one.
- A software program like PassagePoint® is capable of signing in and signing out guests, checking guests against watch lists, restricting access to certain personnel and more. PassagePoint is an enterprise-level solution, perfect for your large healthcare clients who are looking to control multiple sites from a central location.
- For smaller customers, our own software solution, TEMPbadge Visitor Management System, is an excellent choice. This software allows users to sign-in and sign-out guests in just four clicks. Detailed reporting helps record data on all guests, while expiring visitor badges can be printed for added security.
- For customers who aren’t interested in a software solution, or for those who don’t have room for one in the budget, TEMPbadge expiring visitor badges or visitor badge log books are a great solution. These badges expire after a predetermined time frame to show that a guest’s time is up. By issuing these badges, your partners will be able to immediately identify a guest. Instituting a visitor badge policy is a great way for your customers to enforce their visitor hours.
Cal/OSHA: Distinct recommendations for your California customers
The guidelines discussed above come from the federal level of OSHA. However, there are some states that have enacted their own workplace safety laws, and others that are in the process of doing so. One of the states currently exploring the implementation of such regulations is California, a state that tends to be a bellwether of trends in rules and regulations. If you have customers in California, you’ll want to be prepared.
The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, known as Cal/OSHA, was being lobbied by a healthcare workers’ union to revise its workplace safety regulations to make them more strict, with the end goal being a safer healthcare facility.
Cal/OSHA recently accepted the union’s proposed changes, and will now take the steps necessary to change these suggestions into actual regulations. Predictably, these suggestions include Visitor Management. The proposed changes include:
- A process to “identify and evaluate patient-specific risk factors and assess visitors”
- Management of “entryways where unauthorized entrance may occur”
A good Visitor Management system will address the regulations above by helping your customers sign-in their guests and ensuring that no entryway is left unprotected. By getting up to speed with the Cal/OSHA regulations, you’ll be better prepared to meet the needs of your California customers.
Stay informed: Visitor Management questions to ask your healthcare customers
You know what Visitor Management is. Now, you know why your healthcare customers will be looking for it. By asking the following questions, you can get a better sense of what your customers are looking for, thereby providing better service and a more appropriate solution.
- What are you currently doing to sign-in guests at your site?
- Have you ever had any incidents with unwelcome guests causing a disturbance on-site?
- If you had an incident with a guest at your site today, would you have any way of tracking that guest?
- What’s your procedure to ensure that all guests leave the premises at the appropriate time?
Let's talk about growing your Visitor Management business
We know Visitor Management can be a tough concept, but we’re here to help. If you’d like to speak with a member of our team about growing your Visitor Management sales, contact your channel manager or fill out the form below. For more immediate requests, please call us at 800-528-8005.