With the hundreds of people that go in and out of a hospital for a consultation, medical procedure, or a visit, it is considered one of the many establishments that require a high level of security. Ensuring the safety of the many patients as well as their individual and confidential records are just some of the many tasks that hospital security personnel look into on a daily basis.
To assist hospital security in identifying employees, as well as those authorized to perform certain duties or access secured areas, a hospital badge is issued to all health workers (doctors and nurses) and staff. By requiring all hospital employees to wear their hospital badges at all times, patients (especially confined patients) can easily identify the people they can ask for help during their stay.
Prior to the invention of PVC cards, the design of a hospital badge is straightforward. The most common design is that of a rectangular piece of laminated cardboard that has a photo attached, printed with some work information and personal detail.
The hospital badge was then mainly used to identify a person as authorised to work in a hospital, or is permitted entry to secured or critical areas (i.e. ICUs, Emergency Room, Operating Rooms). However, this design of hospital badges does not provide such a high level of security as they can be easily duplicated or reproduced. The advances in technology introduced the use of PVC cards that eventually replaced the typical hospital badges. Nowadays, many are using hospital badges made of PVC cards not only to identify doctors and nurses but also to keep track of each patient’s individual medical record.
The feature-packed hospital badge provides many options for hospital administration in terms setting up security. Unlike its older counterpart, the new hospital badges are not easily tampered with. By embedding magnetic stripes, barcodes, or smart card on the PVC badges, a hospital has the flexibility of integrating security features with certain computer system as well as access control. This may be a more cost-effective and efficient approach because by saving access codes on a card’s magnetic stripe, the hospital need not have security personnel guard all entryways and could in turn devote more times on other security measures. Doctors and nurses need only to swipe their hospital badges to access secured areas in the hospital.
In some hospitals, patients are issued hospital badges and these are made to store individual patient record. A typical hospital badge given to a patient would contain data such as doctor’s name, medical findings and procedures, medication, and many others.
In some cases and often for maximum security, some hospitals issue hospital badges to visitors. These are commonly called hospital visitor ID badges and are made to control access of patient’s visitors to different hospital facilities.