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Opening Doors: Exploring Visitor Management, Tech Innovations, and Strategic Alliances

One of the biggest trends that we've seen on the healthcare side has actually been self-registration, allowing a visitor to approach a kiosk, follow specific guidelines and policies that they have to meet and be able to get a badge for themselves without using hospital manpower resources.



We're thrilled to announce our collaboration with STOPware on an exciting episode exploring Visitor Management, Tech Innovations, and Strategic Alliances. Listen now for valuable insights and engaging conversation!


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work with other systems that these hospitals already have in place.


Gabrielle:

Hello everyone and welcome to another podcast episode brought to you by Parabit. I'm your host for today, Gabrielle. And right now I'm thrilled to be joined by Bob Hrisicak, who's Vice President of sales at Parabit, as well as Phil Mantia, Vice President of sales at STOPware and Sara Markle, Strategic Account Manager at STOPware. And in today's episode, we dive into the realm of Visitor Management within the healthcare industry, just focusing on the collaboration between STOPware and Parabit. Joining us here today are the experts behind the collaboration. Welcome to the show. Thank you. Thank you very much. Absolutely. So to set the stage, let's go ahead and go between each of you and just give our audience a little bit on your background of your name, title, and just what you do within your role.


Phil Mantia:

All right, excellent. I could start. My name is Phil Mantia, VP of sales at STOPware. So I work with the enterprise sales team, working with end users on providing the right solution based on their Visitor Management needs. We're also very customer facing. So besides the sales side, we get very involved in project management and the implementation and training side of Visitor Management as well.


Phil Mantia:

Awesome. I'll go ahead. Hi everybody. My name is Sara Markle. I am one of the strategic account managers at STOPware. I've been with the company for about five years. So really also alongside with Phil, focus on pre and post sales. So from everything from determining visitor policies to moving forward to deciding what's next with a lot of our customers.


Bob Hrisicak:

I'm Bob Hrisicak, vice president of sales at Parabit Systems. I've been with the organization 14 years. Parabit Systems is a manufacturing company. We manufacture kiosks, digital displays for airports, a lot of building hard access systems for banks and financial institutions. And we're based here on Long Island and we're also in very different industries as well as hospitals, healthcare, I should say, banking, schools and things of that nature, but mostly on the manufacturing side, Parabit Systems.


Gabrielle:

Fantastic. Well, thank you everyone. I'd love to hear a little bit more as well. A brief background on STOPware as a company. They've been pioneering the lobby security software marketplace for quite some time now. So love to learn a little bit more about STOPware as well as their flagship product, Passagepoint. So please tell us a little bit more.


Phil Mantia:

Yeah, absolutely. So just to get started, STOPware introduced Passagepoint to the security market back in 1997. So we really are considered pioneers in the Visitor Management space. Most organizations weren't using Visitor Management back then. It was really the traditional logbook where they were basically handwriting visitor information and handwriting badges. And what we saw initially way back then was a lot of customers wanted to move to Visitor Management just to move to the electronic age, start keeping stuff in a database, an electronic database that they could access, start printing nicer type badges and things like that. So initially, our type of product was really more of a badging solution. But over the years, especially in healthcare, there's been a lot of events, a lot of things that have happened and the need for Visitor Management has really evolved. So our focus as a company is 100% Visitor Management. That's all we concentrate on. And we're always looking, listening to feedback from customers on new trends and new features that are going to add value to the marketplace. And we also continuously develop our product to stay on the forefront of the new technologies and offerings that are out there.


Gabrielle:

Fantastic. And Sara, did you have anything to add there?


Sara Markle:

Yeah, I think what's kind of nice and unique about our company is we do have like an in- house engineering team. So we take a lot of feedback, as Phil mentioned, from customers of all kinds to figure out product enhancements and other custom development and all the things along those lines. So we stay really on top of the market because we're constantly receiving feedback from our customers.


Gabrielle:

Well, I'd like to also focus a little bit more on the partnership between STOPware and Parabit. Just ultimately, how do these two companies come together in order to deliver just a complete hardware and software Visitor Management solution, but more particularly within the healthcare industry? Could you take us through that?


Phil Mantia:

Yeah, absolutely. So for us, what we always saw on the Visitor Management side would be hospitals managing visitors at a desk. Okay, so the visitor would come into a lobby, they would go to an information desk, a security desk and be processed. One of the biggest trends that we've seen on the healthcare side has actually been self-registration, allowing a visitor to approach a kiosk, follow specific guidelines and policies that they have to meet and be able to get a badge for themselves without using hospital manpower resources. So this was a great partnership for us with Parabit because they're true manufacturers. They don't just have something off the shelf that they can offer. A lot of our success stories have been special projects where things had to be developed and things had to be created. We're really the experts on the software side. Parabit's the expert on the hardware side. Coming together, the customer actually gets the best of both. We have some really good success stories with Parabit from planning all the way to deployment that we share with other customers. But ideally, it's just Parabit's ability to provide what's needed for the customer in terms of hardware and also being able to support that hardware for the customer. And then anything on the software side, that's really where it's more of a partnership where we work together to provide the best solution possible.


Gabrielle:

Bob, could you share a little bit more on the hardware side of things?


Bob Hrisicak:

Yeah, just going back with Phil stated, I guess we go back many years ago when we met at trade shows. That's where we were introduced to each other. And I would get calls from the end user, you know, I need a kiosk and I would say, okay, what's the software? They would say, Passagepoint STOPware. And that's how we started to build our relationship. On the hardware side, really, it all depends on what STOPware can support. And over the years, we designed our kiosks based on what the hardware they can support with their application. So we don't have kiosks that sit on the shelf. It's like the March of the Wooden Soldiers. We make things as the orders come in. So it gives us the flexibility to customize the kiosk based on their requirements of what they're looking to achieve. You know, most of the devices in there change over time. As we all know, technology changes quickly, and the devices we put in maybe six or seven years ago could be end of life. So we manufacture our kiosk where we can retrofit anything that may change down the road. So it's a good investment on the customer when they make a kiosk. If something changes, we can retrofit it. And sometimes we can do that in the field versus shipping something back to us. So it's been a good partnership with our friends at Passagepoint or STOPware, depending on which word you'd like to use, STOPware makes it easy for me. And we've probably been doing projects together for the last eight or nine years.


Gabrielle:

Good partnership, plenty of great success stories. I'm sure some challenges come along though with these success stories. So what do you think were some of the unique, more of the unique challenges faced when working specifically within the healthcare space? How are Parabit and both STOPware, as we're collaborating with the success solutions, but also with these challenges, how are you working together to navigate any and all of challenges that might have come to you guys?


Sara Markle:

Yeah, absolutely. From the STOPware side, I think our software is very policy driven. So one solution at one location is going to be completely different from a hospital somewhere else. So for us, it's really important that we define a visitor policy with our customers. You know, a visitor policy could be, what are you going to do when they arrive on site and they're on a watch list? What are their badges going to look like? Asking questions like that is really important from our side, because then when we're in there and we're configuring, we know exactly what to do. We don't have to go back to those policy makers. I'm sure you can imagine with hospitals, those conversations take a while because there's many different types of people that can come in. It's a high stress environment. And we used to really specifically work with security. That's completely changed. You know, we're working with security, we're working with IT, we're working with nursing staff. So the personnel on these calls has completely changed. You know, of course, obviously dealing with patient information as well, we deal with things like HIPAA. It's really important that we maintain those guidelines. So we have lots of conversations about that just to make sure we're in line with what the hospital wants. And as I kind of mentioned at the beginning, predominantly Visitor Management back in the day was really focusing on inpatient visitors versus now it's really anyone coming on site, you know, outpatients, outpatient visitors, contractors, vendors, depending on the different type of category, there could be a completely different workflow. So really being able to define those policies, define those guidelines, and be able to actually execute them can be a challenge. For us, we definitely have figured out ways and approaches to assist our customers with asking these questions, but it can still, you know, be a bit of a challenge depending on where we're working at.

Gabrielle:

And Phil, do you have anything to follow up with that?


Phil Mantia:

Yeah. So, I mean, I would just add, you know, in the past, I mean, going back years ago, we used to really work with security in the hospital where kind of like just to build on what Sara said earlier, now we're dealing with patient relations and administration. You know, there's so many different departments that are focused on Visitor Management. Security makes sense to have, you know, be in charge of Visitor Management, but, you know, for them, it was always using our product as a security product. You know, strong rules and policies that people have to meet to get the badge. Where we see other departments in the hospital like patient relations, they're more focused on the visitor experience, right? They want you to go through the rules and the policies, but they don't want you standing on line for 10 minutes or making it so difficult for you to come in. So I think communication with all these different players in the healthcare environment is really important. And ultimately, you know, it's to find that balance between a secure solution and a good visitor experience for that specific end user.


Gabrielle:

And Bob.


Bob Hrisicak:

Yeah, from where I sit on the hardware side, some of the challenges that Sara and Phil, I see a lot, but they don't really give any thought to when it comes down to how quickly they want someone to sign in. And it adds to a lot of, you know, check-in time like Phil said earlier. But one of the unique things we do with STOPware is that before a kiosk ships our facility, they remote in and check all the devices. We do our checking as well, but they'll set up a test here on our kiosk to make sure when it gets to the end user, it's performing on the way they wanted the system to design. As far as the workflow, the printing of the badge, we also do dispensing of prox cords out of the kiosk. So before it ships from our factory here, Phil and his team remote in with their engineers and do some testing before it gets to the end user. And that's primarily where most of our success has been. When it gets there, you know, all the troubleshooting is out of the way and it's really becomes a plug and play device really.


Gabrielle:

Well, both companies actually recently exhibited at the IAHSS trade show. So could you share maybe some key takeaways from the show or maybe even some trends in patient Visitor Management that you feel that have also had an impact on Parabit and STOPware, just how these trends you've seen influence strategy and solution?


Bob Hrisicak:

Can I take that first? Because it was our first time going to the show. And so I was a new kid on the block and speaking a lot of the security directors there, they're similar to what Sara and Phil said. Now, everyone needs to buy into the program. In the past, security would buy the product, they bring IT in and some other folks and everybody was getting caught by surprises. And there was a lot of pushback because no one really had an involvement in it. So my discussions with security when they came past the Parabit booth was to make sure that you buy in, get all the players that are going to participate in the program. It's not only security, it's community affairs, it's the IT department because they have to support it. It's who's going to staff the kiosk, who's going to become like an ambassador to educate the visitor and how to use it. If it needs to be replaced paper, whose function is to do that and avoids a lot of finger pointing. And it makes the experience better when you have everybody buy into the solution.


Gabrielle:

And Sara?


Sara Markle:

Yeah, absolutely. So we've been going to IAHSS for a couple of years. So we had a lot of traction this year, which was really good to see. There was a lot of interest in self-service, which was really good to talk about, especially having Bob there. A lot of interest in self-service of maybe 100% of the Visitor Management registration is going to go on at the kiosk, maybe 80%. So there was a nice mix of some people wanting badges to be printed behind the desk to give that pleasant experience of handing over the badge and being able to smile at the visitor coming on site. So for us, we do have the option to take it as self-service as we want or have a backup receptionist as we like to call them. But majority of the conversations were around the self-service trend. Also for us with Visitor Management, I'm sure you can imagine that that comes with managing many different kinds of visitors, people maybe that you don't want on site or VIPs coming on site as well. So also a lot of conversation about managing restrictions based off patients, if they have approved visitors that they want to see on site or maybe restraining orders on file for other visitors. So a lot of conversation about being able to manage those temperamental visitors, as one would say. And then also the option for access control integration. For anyone that's not familiar, access control would be giving temporary credentials to visitors coming on site. This could be contractors or vendors. This could also even be inpatient visitors that need to go to a specific elevator to go where their patient is. So unlike other years, I feel like the conversations are all very generic around just Visitor Management and badging visitors and getting rid of their paper log books. But I think Visitor Management is more of a trend now. So it's interesting to see people coming in with very specific questions about some of our more robust modules on the market right now.


Gabrielle:

And Phil, do you have anything to add to that?


Phil Mantia:

No, I mean, I think those are primarily the trends that we are seeing. I would also say that we are seeing a lot in terms of restrictions, patient restrictions, that hospitals want to automatically communicate to people at the desk. Maybe a patient in a room doesn't want to see a certain visitor, or maybe they already have a bunch of people in their room and we don't want to let other people up. So the ability to integrate with other hospital systems is another big trend that we're seeing. So they can get real-time information at the desk when they're giving the badge out.


Gabrielle:

Well, as we're nearing the close of the conversation here, do any of you have any last thoughts you'd like to leave with our audience?


Phil Mantia:

So I have something to add. I mean, in terms of hospitals, when we speak to them and we see hospitals trying other types of solutions on the market to manage visitors. And what I would say is it's very important to have a system that's going to integrate with other hospital systems that are in their environment. Because what we used to see a lot of at a front desk is somebody signs a visitor into Passagepoint, and then they have to go to another screen to look up where the patient is. And then they have to go to another screen to see if this person's on a bad guy list or if there's restrictions. And we have so many integration points in our software and in our kiosk solutions as well with Parabit that makes it really easy to manage everything from one screen. And that ultimately is going to result in your visitors are going to wait less time on lines. They're going to get their badges quicker. They're going to be happier coming and going, which is what we see a lot of focus on in hospitals also. So once again, not just security, which I know is primary at the hospital, but factoring in the experience side of it.


Sara Markle:

Yeah, absolutely. To piggyback off that, of course, we want secure solutions and we want everybody on site to feel secure, but it's really important to also keep in mind the visitor experience, the patient experience, the employee experience. All of those can be assisted by having a policy-based system or something that really considers all workflows. We also have found that some of the most successful deployments really kind of use our system to its full capacity. So that means utilizing our REST API tool to be able to create more custom workflows and integrate with other systems. So one system isn't going to fit all of these hospital solutions. We can get really specific and utilize our other technology to be able to work with other systems that these hospitals already have in place.


Bob Hrisicak:

I guess my closing remark is for those that need a kiosk is always check with your provider, your software provider, what devices that you support. A lot of the desktop devices, not necessarily a good for self-service kiosks. So when I get inquiries for a kiosk, it's generic. I need a kiosk and they're not specific to what their requirements are. So with our friends at PassagePoint STOPware, we have that defined. So if somebody calls in, I already know what their hardware support requires. So it's an easy quoting of the kiosk and the end result to the end user is something that performs based on their expectations.


Gabrielle:

Fantastic. Well, that wraps up the conversation for today. So thank you to Bob Hrisicak, Vice President of Sales at Parabit. Also Phil Mantia, Vice President of Sales at STOPware and Sara Markle, Strategic Account Manager at STOPware. Thanks so much for being on the podcast.


Thank you everyone.


You're welcome.


Take care.

Gabrielle:

Absolutely. And as always, if you want to learn more, please visit parabit.com and look for this podcast wherever it is you get your podcasts at. I've been your host, Gabrielle. Thanks for tuning in.


Email sales@parabit.com for more info.


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