Upstate News

February 28, 2006
Darryl Geddes 315 464-4828

University Hospital introduces new visitor pass policy

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – University Hospital will implement a visitor pass policy March 6 that will require all visitors to present identification, preferably a photo ID such as a driver’s license, to enter the hospital.

The visitor pass policy is part of a multi-year plan to enhance campus security. “This policy underscores our commitment to ensuring the safety of our patients, staff and visitors to our campus,” said University Hospital’s chief executive officer Phillip S. Schaengold, J.D., MBA.

University officials say that in addition to the 7,000 employees, volunteers and students who come to campus each day, the hospital greets more than 1,200 visitors daily.

“We want to be as open and trusting a facility as possible, but we also want to provide a secure facility for our patients, staff and visitors,” Schaengold said. “I think this approach allows us to achieve both goals.”

Under the new policy, everyone, including employees who already are required to display an ID badge, anyone who has a need to be in the hospital will be wearing some form of identification.

To also help streamline visitor registration and alleviate congestion in the lobby, the hospital has opened an employee-only entrance that is located west of the main entrance on the traffic circle. Employees may also enter the hospital via the second floor walkway from the parking garage.

Here’s how the new visitor pass policy works:

Visitors entering through the hospital’s public entrances-the main entrance on East Adams Street or via the pedestrian walkway over East Adams Street from the parking garage-will be asked to show a driver’s license or other form of photo ID. The ID will be scanned to create a visitor pass that will indicate the day of the visit and the visitor’s destination. Visitors will be instructed to wear these passes whenever they are in the hospital. If a visitor needs to leave the hospital, they will be able re-enter the facility the same day by displaying his or her visitor pass. All children who visit the hospital will also receive a visitor’s pass.

The visitor’s pass will have three designations:

outpatient visitor (this designation will be used for outpatients and those accompanying them on campus); inpatient visitor (this designation will be used for someone visiting an admitted patient); and general visitor (this designation will be used for someone whose visit is not patient-related, such as meeting with an administrator).

Another feature of the visitor’s pass will be its color. Each day, the color of the appropriate visitor’s pass will change. “By color-coding the passes, we are providing our employees with a quick easily identifiable way to discern whether a visitor has a legitimate pass,” said Shelley White, director of access services. “If the pass does not match the day’s color, the visitor will be asked to go to one of the main entrances and register for the day.”

In addition to the new visitor pass policy, the university recently has made several access points to the hospital, Weiskotten Hall and other locations only available by ID card access. More than a year ago, the hospital implemented an extensive identification process for vendors who are frequent visitors to the hospital.

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