ID Cards and Visitor Management

By: Daisy McCarty

Visitor management is an important concern for organizations that handle a high volume of traffic. Using an ID card program to track every person on site makes securing any facility a straightforward process.

Popular Uses

Hospitals and schools use advanced badge software to identify family members and other persons authorized to visit patients and students. A swipe through the accompanying card reader can retrieve information from the visitor's drivers license. The relevant data can be transferred onto an ID template for printing. This process gives the person administering the ID program an opportunity to check the license against a list of known sex offenders before allowing an individual on the property.

In K-12 environments, it may also be prudent for the administrator to create a list of any non-custodial parents. Files should be noted to distinguish those who are not allowed access to their children unsupervised. Schools are a frequent location of kidnappings by such individuals and the consequences of lax security in these circumstances are drastic. Ensuring that staff members only release children to authorized guardians is a high priority. This task is made simpler when photos of all relevant individuals are uploaded into the system for easy retrieval.

Other Industries

In business environments, visitor management software can be used in conjunction with an employee ID program. Having a compact card printer at the front desk allows reception to create badges in minutes while the guest is being greeted. Card templates can be color coded to indicate the status of the individual: contractor, vendor, customer, VIP guest, etc. Magnetic stripe or RFID encoding can also restrict facility access to the appropriate areas. Reports may be printed from the system for a full list of all employees and visitors on-site in case an evacuation is necessary.

Having a sophisticated badging system makes a much better first impression than a simple sign in sheet full of illegible signatures. Uploading data in advance for pre-registered visitors and contractors makes the check-in process go smoothly every time. Some businesses require a liability waiver to be signed by all visitors. This is designed to protect the company's interests in the event of an injury on the property. Signing an indemnification form or arbitration agreement on every visit is an inconvenience and a waste of paper. Adding a custom field/check box to a person's data profile allows the administrator to immediately determine if they already have a signed form on file from a previous appointment.

Additional Security Measures

A missing badge is not as bad as a missing key, but it still poses a risk. Checking out at the front desk should be standard procedure - just like checking in. This allows the attendant to collect all IDs at the point of exit. Rewriteable cards can be erased and used again. Non-reusable badges can be recycled. Badges belonging to contractors on long term projects may be kept in a locked desk drawer to be reissued each time they are needed.

If it is not feasible to retrieve all outgoing IDs, companies can also choose to print on expiring stock. This material changes color after a predetermined period of time or after exposure to direct sunlight. The obvious color difference between a valid badge and an expired one make it easy to identify unauthorized visitors. All ID printing materials from the supplies to the equipment itself should be kept in a secure location when not in use.

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