Emanuel Medical Center is instituting a new check-in and visitor badge process to come in line with the recommendations from a safety task force.
Anyone coming to the hospital’s main entrance on Delbon Avenue will have to check in with a security guard and be given a peel-and-stick visitor badge that is color-coded for the area of the hospital they need to access. An additional check-in station will be located near the elevators beyond the emergency room entrance.
"Emanuel still welcomes and encourages family and friends to visit patients, eat in the Garden Terrace Cafe and shop in the gift shop,” explained Emanuel President and CEO John Sigsbury. “The change will simply require any non-employee coming to the hospital to check in at a security desk, say where they are going, and wear a visitor badge for that particular area of the hospital. Hospital staff currently wears ID badges.”
Sigsbury said these kinds of security procedures are becoming increasingly common in large health care facilities, and are being instituted at Emanuel at the recommendation of the hospital Safety Task Force.
“To support the work of our task force, we also contacted a safety and security consultant, who reviewed an assessment of our campus and offered expert recommendations,” he said. “Those included the recommendation that we control visitor flow.”
The new security measure comes about two weeks after a man threatened a security guard at the hospital cafeteria after taking food without paying for it.
“We’re making these changes to enhance the safety and security of our patients, staff and guests,” Sigsbury said.
Under the new security guidelines, individuals found in an area that doesn’t correspond to the color-coding of the visitor badge, EMC staff will help them find their way back to the proper floor or unit.
Emergency patients will not be delayed in receiving medical attention by asking them to fill out a visitor badge, the hospital stated.
The hospital’s visiting hours, which are from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, will not be changing, nor will any other visitor guidelines and rules, however, they will be consistently enforced which may not have always been the case in prior years, said hospital spokesperson Pennie Rorex.