Throughout the pandemic, many assisted living facilities have been on the lookout for a way to streamline the check-in and health screening process. They quickly learned that paper-based questionnaires were time consuming, created more work, and weren’t exactly the most private way to keep records. They also made it difficult to perform contact tracing, if necessary, in a timely manner. As a way to make the process easier, QR-code-based digital apps started to emerge. Yet not all QR code apps are the same.
Below you’ll find information on what you should be looking for before you invest in the check in app. But first, we’ll review how these QR code-based apps work from an administrator’s point of view as well as the visitor’s perspective.
How QR Code Based Apps Work
While most people fundamentally understand how QR code based apps work because they’ve used them at restaurants or when entering public venues, it’s different when you’re responsible for setting it up at a facility. The good news is that you get it up and running in just a few minutes. For the administrator, they go to the tech vendor’s website, sign up with a credit card, and print their own QR code poster. Within a few minutes, they can start checking in visitors.
From the visitor’s perspective, they point their smartphone at the dedicated QR code on the poster. On the phone’s screen, they’ll be asked to fill out their contact information. Depending on the facility’s or the state’s protocols, visitors may be asked if they have been vaccinated or are feeling any flu-like symptoms. The sign-in process is complete in seconds and visitors, depending on how they respond to the questions, will receive a digital green screen to enter the facility.
5 Requirements for the Technology
As you evaluate which QR code based app is right for your facility, here are five key criteria.
- A dedicated QR code. Make sure the code is not one that’s pulled off the internet. You want a dedicated QR code for each facility so you can always know who is or was visiting without worrying about security due to a questionable origin of the QR code. The best way to get assurance on the validity of the code is to make sure you’re working with a tech vendor that is focused on developing this type of technology and is readily available to answer any questions you may have.
- Privacy. You want to be assured that guest and vendor daily construction log information will remain private. As you evaluate vendors, ask where the check-in data is saved and who has access to it. The data should ideally be securely stored in an Amazon or Google cloud. Of note, when our facility moved to a private digital check-in app from Safe Site Check In, we also realized we can finally get rid of the outdated paper sign-in book that was at the front desk. Along with keeping visitor information private, it saved us lots of time previously spent keeping track of the sign-in paperwork.
- Customization. You should be able to modify the check-in questions or create your own, including the ability to notify staff when visitors arrive. You also want to insert a picture of your facility and your logo on the safety check in app, so visitors know it’s approved and affiliated with the building. This makes guests feel safer about signing in through an app.
- Reports. It helps to run a regular report on visitor check-ins. This tells you how many people are in the building at any given time, and the frequency of guests for residents, and how long they stay, for example. It’s also helpful for facility management, capacity planning, and staffing.
- Unlimited check in.. Look for a flat-fee based option instead of paying per visitor or based on the size of the facility.
As digital technology for facilities continues to evolve, assisted living homes are at the forefront of adopting it. It’s all part of their efforts to ensure they offer state of the art technology to keep residents and visitors safe and comfortable.