EmpRes Healthcare

EmpRes Healthcare Implements a Streamlined Process for Verifying Vaccine Cards at the Front Desk

TK King

Vice President of Operational Development - EmpRes Healthcare

THE CHALLENGE

To find and implement workflow improvement solutions that meet COVID-19 vaccine requirements.

THE OUTCOME

EmpRes Healthcare streamlined the sign-in, health screening, and vaccine verification process for all visitors, staff, third-party caregivers, and residents who enter and exit the building.

THE IMPACT

EmpRes garnered significant cost savings, improved staffing coverage, and implemented an easy-to-use vaccine verification protocol.

Like many senior living providers, EmpRes Healthcare began tackling COVID-19 pandemic requirements by deploying paper logs and dedicated front-desk employees to ensure questionnaires were properly filled out, temperatures are captured, and vaccine cards approved. To that end, EmpRes utilized full-time employees at the front desks of 52 locations to ensure that visitors and staff were properly screened.

Although the paper solution was working, it was costly and inefficient to have so many FTEs dedicated to one assignment. EmpRes Healthcare’s Vice President of Operational Development, TK King, was soon tasked with finding a better solution to screening staff and visitors. “I met with five or six different vendors,” he says, “and with Accushield, the conversation was open and fluid. They were open to discuss things as well as to add to the platform some things that really aligned with what we were looking for.”

More importantly, TK adds, Accushield’s mobile app, which streamlines the way people are screened prior to walking through the doors, was a big selling point for EmpRes. “All of that made us feel secure in signing with them. To be honest, it was like a breath of fresh air,” he says.

Significant Workflow Improvements

With kiosks installed at all of the EmpRes locations, the company was able to administer touchless temperature capture, vaccine verification, and COVID-19 screening questions during visitor, staff, and healthcare provider sign in. This meant that EmpRes was able to shift the FTEs from the front desks to cover vital services. “When you multiply that by 52 locations, it adds up fast,” says King. “More importantly, it allowed us to move staff members either back to patient care or clerical duty in support of our clinicians. Furthermore, that goes a long way when you are in the middle of a staffing shortage.”

Contending with the pandemic requirements imposed by federal, state, and municipal entities has been an evolving process fraught with complicated juggling of tasks and systems in an effort to keep up with screening questions, staff and resident testing, and temperature requirements, and now vaccine verifications. “As we moved through the pandemic, the problems changed,” King notes. “First, we had to worry about screening and symptoms and if someone should be there, and we solved that with Accushield. Now, we have moved into the next phase of pandemic, where our concern is who is vaccinated and who is not. Accushield is solving these problems as we navigate the pandemic, and that’s what makes them so unique for our industry.”

Mobile App Boosts Efficiencies

Thanks to the input of its clients, Accushield’s mobile app enables users to answer questions, accept a consent form, provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination status and/or negative test results. Once users complete the in-app screening requirements via their mobile phone, it generates a sign-in QR code that can be scanned at the kiosk for a fast and touch-free experience.

When Accushield announced plans to launch its new vaccination tracking portion of the app earlier this summer, EmpRes jumped at the chance to pilot it. King says they began deploying the staff feature of the app in July and will deploy the visitor version as soon as it’s available. In what King describes as a “simple process,” staff is asked to take photos of their vaccination cards, which are automatically uploaded to the program. If the system recognizes someone who has not uploaded a card, it will request one during the screening process.

“At that point, it sends a message to HR and creates a log of ‘unreviewed vaccination cards,’ that we give our managers 48 hours to review for accuracy and authenticity,” King explains. “Once the vaccination cards are verified, staff will not be asked for them again unless changes are made to the system, such as the addition of booster shots.”

King adds that while each of the 52 EmpRes centers that have Accushield are run by individual teams, the corporate office has access to the main system, where weekly audits are conducted. Once the visitor module is available, he says he will “flip the switch” to launch it within each building.

“I am really excited to implement the Visitor and Vendor vaccine verification piece. I think that will be our saving grace as states mandate vaccinations for visitors and vendors or something similar to that,” King says. “It’s been great; the team at Accushield is committed to improving workflow in our industry. I think a lot of vendors have lost sight of what that means, and they have really stuck to their word. We are very appreciative of them and our partnership with them.”

Positive Family Feedback

King is also very happy with how the kiosks have impressed families and other visitors to the centers. “That’s one of the really good things,” he says. “We have used the [Accushield] system for over a year, and we’ve been able to compare family feedback as we moved through the pandemic. At first, some seemed put off by it, but over time their feedback has changed and been very positive.”

Implementing Accushield has also been positive for EmpRes staff. “I think it was probably the easiest experience with any application that we have ever had,” King asserts. “The training piece literally takes 15 minutes, and that’s for someone who wants to use the dashboard features.”

AT A GLANCE

Challenges
  • Front desk efficiencies
  • Meeting regulatory health screening requirements
  • Process excellence
Benefits
  • Cost savings
  • Quicker sign-in process
  • Better infection control practice

“I think it was probably the easiest experience with any application that we have ever had. The training piece literally takes 15 minutes, and that’s for someone who wants to use the dashboard features.”

TK King