We know that emotional wellbeing is a crucial component of overall health. Ensuring residents needs are supported creates a positive state of mind and improves self-esteem.  

Maintaining ties and social connections with family and friends can play a significant role in assisting residents in feeling less lonely, anxious or depressed, benefitting their emotional wellbeing. However, maintaining their safety and health is just as crucial. Letting visitors into an aged care facility compromises both the patients’ risk of contracting an infection and the facility’s security. 

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.

In order to comply with these regulations, what steps must Age Care providers take? How can you encourage communication with family members while guaranteeing a successful escalation plan?

What are the visitation requirements for Aged Care facilities?

Having the proper systems in place is extremely vital. Due to Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission’s recommendations, providers must demonstrate how they’re managing visitor arrangements at their facility. 

The national Aged Care visitation standards established by the AHPPC also include recommendations for installing visitor booking systems, collecting and controlling on-site visitors, contact tracing, and facilitating health screening procedures. 

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

A good visitor management solution helps Aged Care facilities ensure residents are safe, sites are compliant and the emotional wellbeing of residents is met. Here are five ways a digital solution could help you adhere to the guidelines:

1. 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 and secure from threats by restricting on-site access to those who do not meet the criteria you have set. Criteria may include identifying current infections, vaccination status, or completing required health testing.  You can customise your screening questions and establish a workflow that stops ‘sign-in’ for non-compliance and use automatic alerts to promptly inform the appropriate staff. 

2. Fast track contact tracing to reduce risks 

In the event of an identified risk/outbreak, knowing who’s on-site at the time 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, it’s often paper-based, 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, it can easily create reports and export data for compliance and audit purposes.

3. 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, 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. Providing easy visibility to available spaces, reducing double bookings and facilitating resource allocation for meetings, functions, and connecting loved ones.

4. Manage visiting hours and length of visits to safeguard residents  

Some instances, to help maintain residents health, you can change/restrict visiting hours or set visitor time limits.

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. 

5. 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 while keeping compliance.

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 correct tools to keep up-to date with National Aged Care visitation guidelines shouldn’t be overwhelming.

Digitising this process with a visitor management solution provides a means of increasing compliance for the facility, enhanced visitor experience and peace of mind for all. The Visitor Management Central is easy to use for staff, helps manage the safety and emotional wellbeing of residents, staff and visitors whilst complying with regulations.  

For more information on visitor management solutions, contact us here