How do you balance the emotional wellbeing of residents without putting them at risk?

We know that emotional wellness is an important part of general health, and ensuring that the needs of residents are supported can help improve self-esteem and create a positive state of mind.  

In particular, maintaining relationships and social connections with family and friends can be a key factor in helping reduce the sense of isolation, anxiety, or depression in residents. 

However, equally important is maintaining their health and safety. Allowing visitors into Aged Care facilities increases the risks of infection to residents, along with the safety of the facility itself.  

The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) released the national Aged Care visitation guidelines to help ensure an appropriate escalation framework is established, regarding the transmission risks of infectious diseases.

So, what measures must Aged Care providers implement to meet these guidelines, and how can you facilitate the connection with loved ones while ensuring an effective escalation plan? 

What are the visitation requirements for Aged Care facilities?

With the findings published by the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission for providers to demonstrate how they are managing visitor arrangements at their facility, having the right systems in place is even more critical. 

In addition, the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) national Aged Care visitation guidelines establish a robust escalation management process, including recommendations such as implementing visitor booking systems, capturing and managing on-site visitors, contact tracing, and enabling health screening workflow. 

Addressing these challenges, identifying risks, and managing escalations quickly and effectively are paramount to staying compliant.

A good visitor management solution can help Aged Care facilities ensure residents are safe and sites are compliant. Here are five ways a digital solution may assist with meeting the guidelines:

Automate health screening to keep residents safe

Managing Health Screen procedures can become a logistical nightmare, requiring multiple form completion, ongoing storage of information, and quick access to data for every visitor, every time.

Using digital ‘declaration forms’, ‘terms of entry’, and ‘health screening’ features upon visitor sign-in means you not only capture relevant health credentials easily but that you can help keep your residents safe from threats by restricting on-site access to those who do not meet the criteria you have set. Criteria may include vaccination status, identifying current infections, or completing required health testing.  You can customise your screening questions and implement a workflow that halts ‘sign-in’ for non-compliance and immediately notify the appropriate staff using automated alerts. 

Fast track contact tracing to reduce risks

In the event of an identified risk or outbreak, knowing who’s on-site at the time in question, and having a viable means of contacting them quickly is critical to managing health and safety. 

While many sites may have a check-in process, often it is paper-based and can be incomplete, inaccurate, and present an arduous administrative burden.  A digital visitor management solution allows you to quickly identify who’s on-site at any particular period of time, and use automated notifications to contact them. With immediate visibility and bulk notification, you can help minimise risks and reach visitors and staff quickly. Additionally, easily create reports and export data for compliance and audit purposes.

Allocate designated visitation areas and streamline access

Staying across the availability of resources and rooms can be tricky, particularly across multiple staff, residents’ needs, or various sites.

Through the use of a digital booking feature, you can allocate specific areas in your facility to residents, visitors, or staff and manage what, where, and who can access them. This helps ensure you can manage your site resources and rooms, restrict on-site access and movement, confine any risks, and help protect your residents from external elements. It also provides easy visibility to the availability of spaces, reducing double bookings and facilitating resource allocation for meetings, functions, and connecting loved ones.

Manage visiting hours and length of visits to safeguard residents 

In some instances, to help maintain the health of residents, you may need to change or restrict visiting hours or set limits on the length of time visitors are allowed on-site. 

Using a digital visitor management solution can help set parameters by facility, resident, or visitor, or for certain dates. Implement workflows to allocate visiting periods, and visit durations and even send automated reminders to alert visitors as their time nears a conclusion. In addition, create workflows to capture if a visitor has not checked out within their allocated time slot and send a notification to relevant staff to advise. 

Control the number of on-site visitors to keep compliant

Whether it’s to comply with regulations or protect your site, having the ability to control the number of people on-site is important. A digital visitor management solution can take the stress out of manually staying on top of it and help keep you compliant. 

Set limits on how many people can be at your facility at any given time, and allow the system to automatically tally numbers with the sign-in/out process. In the event you reach capacity, you can restrict access at sign-in and receive alerts to advise staff.

Ensuring your Aged Care facility has the right tools to keep up to date with the national Aged Care visitation guidelines does not have to be overwhelming.

Digitising this process with a visitor management solution may provide a means of increasing compliance for the facility, an enhanced visitor experience, and peace of mind for all. 

Our solution, Visitor Manager Central, offers an easy, digital way to help manage the safety of residents, visitors, and staff while assisting with compliance requirements.

For more information on Visitor Management solutions, visit our website or contact us today.