Temperature Screening has Zero Benefits When Not Used Properly in Healthcare Facilities

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We’re discussing the benefits and best practices to keep your staff, patients, and visitors safe during COVID-19 spikes.

In just a few short months, we’ll be coming up on one year since the initial deployment of temperature screening as a COVID-19 mitigation strategy. There’s been a lot of debate across several industries about whether these systems effectively mitigate the spread of illnesses. At SSP, we’ve had some time to speak with many healthcare providers on the practical benefits and best practices in using these systems effectively. While these systems are not a means to detect or diagnose infectious diseases, they can detect elevated body temperatures that reach the CDC’s threshold for a definition of fever, which can allow security personnel to decide if an additional medical evaluation is needed. Now that COVID-19 spikes are increasing around the nation, understanding how to use this solution effectively is more crucial than ever.

The benefits of temperature screening in healthcare

Infrared temperature detection cameras have now become a staple mitigation measure across industries nationwide. This technology enables you to engage in preliminary screening that is relatively easy to deploy safely and in real-time within your healthcare facility when set up and used correctly. The rapid screening rate enables you to screen employees and visitors in short succession. Since these are digital systems, the screening data can be stored and sent to key team members safely and securely. Infrared thermal detection systems may be an integral step to mitigate the spread of contagious illness to protect those fighting on the front lines in the healthcare industry.

Best practices for elevated body temperature screening?

How to prepare the screening environment

There are many considerations to make before deploying a temperature screening system in your healthcare facility. Consider where you’ll use the system: Are you using it at an entrance to monitor individuals entering, or will you use it inside the facility or within specific units to monitor temperatures multiple times throughout the day? 

Keep in mind, most of these systems will utilize a blackbody calibration device to maintain a constant temperature reference point in environments with fluctuating temperature and humidity levels. If your system doesn’t use a blackbody calibration, you’ll likely be required to recalibrate the system more frequently. It is best to use the system in an indoor area and a neutral location away from anything that might interfere with the reading, such as heaters, heat-emitting lights, sunlight, windows, air conditioning units, doorways, etc. The FDA suggests room temperatures from 68⁰ and 76⁰ F (20-24⁰ C) and a relative humidity level of 10%-50%. A thermal imaging device specialist can help you decide the best location for setting up your screening system so that it will function optimally.

How to prepare the subject for screening

There are also some best practices for your staff and visitors to follow to ensure the most accurate and effective reading. Already, many systems prompt users with steps and best practices on-screen within the screening procedure. 

The user’s face cannot be obstructed with hair, hats, surgical caps, or sunglasses. New AI-based software enables systems not to require the removal of face masks and detect and alert if the user is not complying with wearing a mask.

It’s important to note that the surface temperature of a user’s skin is altered due to cold or hot weather and perspiration, making it difficult to accurately measure whether they have an elevated temperature. Regulating the flow of individuals by postponing screening for several moments until their skin temperature normalizes is recommended. You may wish to utilize this waiting period for other screening methods such as a health questionnaire or checking to ensure individuals are wearing a face mask and practicing social distancing.

Our Recommendation

SSP offers the InVidTech SEC-BODYTEMPCAM1 that provides fast and accurate body-temperature measurement when used as a pre-screening measure in a healthcare facility. 

  • 100% Touch-less access
  • Rapid facial recognition within .035 seconds
  • Detection while wearing a mask
  • Anti-Spoofing algorithm
  • Reduces personnel labor costs

We want to help you learn more about how temperature detection could be the solution for your healthcare facility. Team up with the security professionals today by calling 1-888-540-0175 today!

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