I followed the signs around the corner to the visitor check in station where I was greeted with a friendly smile and a paper log book. A paper log?! I couldn’t believe it. Disappointed, I scribbled “Tinker Bell” in the log next to the time I arrived. I told the woman behind the counter who I was here to meet with and she asked my name and called him to let him know I had arrived. Not once did she ask to see my photo ID to verify I was who I claimed to be or did she check to ensure I signed in using that same name. Once he was notified, she handed me a temporary visitor label that read VISITOR and asked me to take a seat in the waiting area.While I waited for him to meet me, I silently watched similar interactions happen with the next five visitors. Everyone who showed up was asked to sign in the paper log book, but not one person was asked to show any form of identification. Once signed in, everyone was issued a generic visitor label and sent on their way to roam the hospital at their discretion.
What are the biggest weaknesses of this system?1. Not once was there any validation of anyone’s ID
Without checking visitors' IDs and allowing them to simply sign the log as they please, you absolutely cannot guarantee an accurate record of who has been there. I rarely use my real name in a log book. If anything, I find paper logs to be an excellent opportunity to test my creative alter egos… Minnie Mouse, Doctor Pepper, Snow White… Whatever I choose, it certainly isn’t accurate. And I guarantee I am not the only person doing this, which defeats the purpose of having the paper log in place to begin with!
2. Anybody can read it
Why not just publish a list of everyone you do business with on your website for everyone to see? A paper log is basically a public list of every person that has been in your building – vendors, contractors, parents, you name it… (Well those people using their real names anyway!)
3. Log books are a hassle
What if an emergency or event ever happened and you actually had to rely on those logs for an accurate record of who was in your facility? Going back through paper records manually to try to figure out who was in your building on a certain date at a certain time can be extremely frustrating, especially when compared to running an electronic report.
Let’s face it; the paper log book is a completely antiquated way of managing visitor records. Electronic visitor management offers a cost-effective method to securely track visitors, validate identities and run accurate reports, without the hassle! The only downside is that as more and more facilities switch to electronic systems, I don’t get to make up as many fun names to sign in with anymore…
Lindsay Cornell is the Director of Sales for BadgePass, Inc. BadgePass manufactures cutting edge ID Badging, Visitor Management and Access Control software. Visit www.badgepass.com for more information.