URBANA — A month after installing a weapons detection system at its emergency department doors, Carle Foundation Hospital will be requiring visitors to all areas of the hospital to check in upon arrival and show an ID.

Starting at 8 a.m. Monday, all visitors coming to the hospital will be required to check in at any of four entrances, show a photo ID, get their pictures taken by a staff member and obtain a visitor badge that must be worn during their time at the hospital, according to Carle Health.

The badge will include the visitor’s name, photo, the floor or unit they will be visiting and their check-in time, and will be good for one day only.

Visitors arriving at the hospital should expect to see signs directing them to guest services stations, where they will be greeted and the names of who they’re coming to visit will be confirmed, according to Carle.

Visitors will need to check out at the same location they checked in when they’re ready to leave.

Johnalene Radek, the hospital’s director of operations and clinical support services, said a check-in system such as the one Carle will be using won’t be unique to Carle Foundation Hospital.

“There are many organizations that are moving to a visitor check-in system,” she said.

While the new system isn’t being prompted by any recent safety issues, Radek said it will help support visitor guidelines “and keep an eye on who is in the hospital.”

“We want to increase safety and security and the experience for our patients that are within our walls,” she said.

Having patients check in won’t extend the detection of weapons beyond the emergency department to the rest of the hospital, Radek said, but “it addresses who they are and why they’re coming to the hospital. We hope it gives pause to anyone who’s coming in to cause trouble.”

Keep in mind, also, that not all patients want visitors, she said, and this will be a good way to support what patients want and need so they have a good experience while they’re in the hospital.

The four check-in points will include:

  • The outpatient services entrance at Orchard Street, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • The main hospital entrance at Park Street, from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • The Heart and Vascular Center entrance, from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Emergency department 24/7. (Any visitor to any area of the hospital arriving after 10 p.m. will need to check in at the emergency department.)

Carle security will have protocols in place for visitors who don’t have photo IDs or decline to show them, according to Carle.

For now, Radek said Carle Foundation Hospital will be the only facility in the Carle system requiring visitor check-in. However, Carle is undertaking a risk assessment systemwide, “so this will be a starting point to see how it goes, and go from there,” she said.