Visitor safety has always been a concern for office managers, but it has become an even more important issue now that incidents of workplace violence are increasing. Studies show that the healthcare industry has the highest rate of workplace violence. That’s not reassuring news when you run a chiropractic office.
As defined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration(OSHA), workplace violence can refer to any act of aggression, including harassment, intimidation, physical behavior, and verbal threats. Your goal, as an office manager, is to minimize or eliminate the risk of workplace violence and ensure that your visitors and colleagues are kept safe.
Top Ways to Increase the Security Level at Your Chiropractic Practice
There are many ways to increase your visitor security at your office, but the number one way is to implement a visitor management system.There are many ways to increase your visitor security at your office, but the number one way is to implement a visitor management system. Click To Tweet
A visitor management system is a set of tools and practices that you can use to monitor who’s coming and going within your office. Your visitor management system will enable you to know who’s in your office, why they’re visiting, who they’re visiting, when they’ve arrived, and if they’ve been to your office before.
A visitor management system is like the old-school paper-based visitor sign-in system but on steroids. Instead of relying on your visitors to check in by signing their names on your registration sheet, you can ask them to check in via an electronic kiosk. This immediately increases your visitor safety.
Because electronic kiosks return to the welcome screen at the end of each check-in session, the next visitor will not see the private information of the other visitors who’ve arrived in your office before them. The paper registration method leaves your visitors’ information vulnerable to the prying eyes of others, including those who may maliciously use their data.
Implementing a visitor management system will increase your visitors’ safety before they arrive at your chiropractic office, during their appointment, and long after they’ve left. Here are additional security benefits to choosing a visitor management system:
- Improved workplace security – Investing in a visitor management system will increase your office security because visitors who intend to do harm are less likely to engage in violent or criminal behavior when their information is recorded.
- Secure visitor identification – Your visitor management system will collect all necessary visitor information to confirm their identity. You can use this information to ensure that you know exactly who is in your office at all times.
- Real-time notifications of arrivals – A visitor management system can ensure that the correct contacts are notified immediately upon the visitor’s arrival. Immediate notification reduces wait times. As a result, your visitor will be less likely to wander your office aimlessly while waiting to be seen, which is an obvious security risk.
- Customizable visitor registration forms – Ask your visitors the most relevant information that you need from them upon check-in. You will need different information from different visitor types. Your visitor management system can be configured to handle multiple visitor types with different check-in processes.
- Automatically printed visitor badges – To increase the level of security in your workplace, ensure that every visitor wears an identification badge during their visit. Your visitor management system can print out visitor badges automatically upon check-in.
- Automated visitor photo capture – Your badges should not just be a name only. Choose a visitor management system that’s able to take photo IDs of your visitors. The system can then automatically print the badge by connecting to a badge printer. Having a photo ID for each visitor will increase security as staff and other visitors alike will be able to visually confirm the identity of each visitor they encounter.
- Compliance with legal and security regulations – Do your visitors need to sign special acknowledgment or authorization forms? You can handle the necessary “paperwork” digitally through your visitor management system.
- Automated database of visitor records – Keep a record of your visitors for as long as you need to. Choose a visitor management system, like The Receptionist for iPad, that allows you to store your visitor records in the cloud. This way, you’ll have a digital reference for the future, in case you ever need to know who was on your property at a specific date and time.
- Ability to customize visitor policies – In addition to signing special medical clearances at check-in, you can also ask visitors to acknowledge your office policies.
- Automated tracking of visitor movement within the premises – If you implement multiple checkpoints using multiple visitor management kiosks, you can create a tracking system throughout your office to let you know where your visitors are at all times. In this type of system, a visitor would simply check in each time they arrived at a new section of your office.
- Automated visitor flows for efficiency – Upon successful check-in, your visitor management system can notify your visitor of the next steps to take. For example, you can ask your visitor to wait until someone calls for them or you can share a map and a set of directions to guide them to their next destination. Providing clear next-step instructions will eliminate confusion and the chance that a visitor will just wander through your office into restricted areas.
- Automatically deployed emails and SMS notifications – The visitor management system can also send out a text message or email to your visitors to provide them with the next steps to take. This may be handy if you need them to follow a precise, but potentially confusing, set of steps to get to their destination.
- The ability to securely store visitor data – Your visitor management system stores all of your visitors’ sensitive data automatically. You don’t have to worry about your visitors seeing each others’ sensitive information. This is a major pain point for paper registration systems.
- E-signature capture for legal purposes – If you need to legally record a visitor’s signature, your visitor management system can do this for you. E-signatures are legally binding in all U.S. states.
- Integration with other security systems – You can integrate the visitor management system with other security systems, such as your camera capture system and badge printer. This way, you can have a visual record of who’s visiting your office.
- Automatically-generated visitor reports – A visitor management system can be configured to print visitor reports for you at the end of each day. This way, you can have a physical as well as a digital copy of your visitor records.
- The ability to add custom fields to registration forms – You can add custom fields to the visitor registration form to ask for additional, security-related information, such as the visitor’s driver’s license information. This can be used to create a more thorough profile of your visitors.
- Get visitor analytics automatically – You can configure your system to create a report to show you an overview of who’s visited your office each day. You can also discover this information in real time. Understanding your overall visitor analytics can help you make better staffing decisions for the future. You can also look at projected visitor information to determine which days may be busier. This will allow you to ensure that you have enough staff on the property to meet the needs of your visitors.
- Automate the visitor check-out process – In addition to checking in, ask your visitors to check out using your digital receptionist kiosk. This will ensure that you have the most accurate data on who’s in your office at all times.
- Survey visitors automatically – The visitor management system can send out surveys to gather feedback from your visitors about their office experience. Use these surveys to ask security-related questions, such as how the visitor feels about your safety measures and if they have any suggestions for improvement.
- A touchless check-in experience – As the pandemic taught us, danger can also be in the form of germs. Using a visitor management system, you can reduce the spread of germs in your office space. Visitors can sign in without actually touching your digital receptionist kiosk, and definitely without handling a common paper and clipboard. Instead, the kiosk can display a QR code. The visitor can scan the QR code with their phone and check in remotely with their phone.
Looking for a visitor management system? Check out The Receptionist for iPad. Our software offers all of the above benefits and more. Discover how The Receptionist for iPad visitor management system can help you keep your visitors safe by clicking here.
Other Tips to Ensure Your Visitors’ Safety While at Your Chiropractic Office
In addition to implementing a visitor management system, here are a few other ways to improve your visitors’ in-office safety:
- Install security cameras in common areas. This includes the lobby, the hallways, and also the entrance and service areas of your office.
- Use metal detectors and/or X-ray scanners at entrances. It’s often best to err on the side of caution, especially if you’re responding to an uptick of violent crimes in your area.
- Restrict access to certain areas of the office, including storage closets. Visitors should not be able to get into spaces that are only intended for staff.
- Install a secure entry system with access control. To limit access to restricted areas, take the extra step of installing a physical lock system or a keyless code entry system.
- Request that visitors check in upon arrival. Visitors can check in using your visitor management system.
- Establish a visitor sign-in policy and require visitors to present valid identification. Require that all visitors must register before being seen and also, when registering, they must be able to scan their state- or federal-issued ID.
- Offer visitors verbal or written information on workplace safety. Educate visitors on security policies ahead of their visit via a confirmation email.
- Train your staff to recognize suspicious behavior. Your staff should always be on the lookout for visitors who are acting unusually. Educate your staff so that they understand what suspicious behavior may look like and aren’t operating off of unconscious biases.
- Encourage visitors to report any suspicious activity. Post signs around your office that empower visitors to look for suspicious behavior, too.
- Require visitors to wear visible identification tags. When visitors check-in, immediately print out a temporary badge that they must wear for the duration of their visit.
- Hire security personnel or guards. Don’t leave all of the security burdens on your office staff. Hire a security team that can provide part- or full-time help in your office.
- Utilize bag checks for all visitors entering sensitive areas. Ask your visitors to secure their bags in key-coded lockers or ask them to submit to a bag check.
- Install panic buttons or other emergency alert systems. Give your staff the ability to silently and quickly alert security or local emergency in the event that something goes wrong.
- Establish an emergency response plan in case of workplace violence. Ensure that your staff knows what to do in the event of various forms of workplace violence.
- Ensure that the workspace has adequate exits and escape routes. Be sure that you have signs posted throughout your public areas so that your staff and visitors know how to exit should the need arise. Provide visitors with a map of the office and evacuation routes. Post signs indicating the location of exits and emergency exits.
- Establish a no-weapons policy, if applicable. Reduce your risk factors by refusing weapons in your office.
- Provide regular safety drills and training with your staff. The best way to be ready for potential safety risks is through routine drills and regular training.
Ways to Protect Your Chiropractic Office From Cyber Crime
Physical threats are not the only risks to your visitors’ safety. Your visitors can also be in danger of cyber threats. Hackers can access your visitors’ private information by exploiting vulnerabilities in your network and using that information to steal their identity. They can also use your visitors’ sensitive data as ransom and hold your business hostage until you pay.
Cybercrime has steadily increased since the beginning of the pandemic. And even though it may not have happened to your business yet, you may be the next victim. Here’s how to protect your chiropractic office and your visitors from cyber threats:
- Use strong passwords for your work computers and software programs.
- Ask your staff to change their passwords quarterly.
- Install a firewall and antivirus software on your work computers.
- Maintain regular software updates and patches.
- Choose an email service that encrypts communication so that visitor information is kept private.
- Log out of work computers and software programs when not in use.
- Restrict access to sensitive visitor data to authorized personnel only.
- Use a secure wireless network.
- Regularly back up visitor/patient data and store this data in a safe offsite location and/or in the cloud.
- Regularly perform security assessments and vulnerability scans.
- Securely lock visitor data files in cabinets on the premises.
- Utilize two-factor authentication for access to sensitive data on work computers.
- Have a tracking system to keep track of who has accessed, updated, or changed visitor data in your system.
- Use a shredder to properly dispose of confidential documents, especially documents that contain visitor information.
- Train your staff to recognize phishing emails that could easily compromise your proprietary data.
Implement the above tips to increase the level of visitor safety in your chiropractic office. By doing so, you will reduce your risk level for workplace violence.
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