Improving Hospital Security with ID Badges

Avera Hospital finds a badge printing solution for their creative ID program


How the Badges Are Used


Avera Queen of Peace’s badges are primarily used for identification and security, yet they are also multi-functional. Encoded with a magnetic stripe, the cards are also used for logging in and out of the time and attendance system. In addition, the cards are used to charge meals in the cafeteria and purchase items in the pharmacy and gift shop. Cards are also used to identify volunteers and show that they are authorized to be in the building. Volunteer badges are not encoded and are used solely for identification.

“The ability to use the cards in the cafeteria speeds up the food line tremendously. So much time is saved by not having to deal with change,” says Jan Brtna, HR specialist at Avera Queen of Peace Hospital. Brtna is responsible for time and attendance, payroll, compensation, as well as managing the ID badge program.

Brtna estimates that they print about 200 cards per year. The cards consist of the company logo and the employee’s name, photo, and department. The same information is printed on both sides in case the badge flips over. Some badges are designed with added security. For example, to enter the nursery, cardholders must have a badge with a pink and blue stripe.


The Search for a New Vendor

The hospital’s ID badge program had been running strong for over 11 years. They started printing cards at the recommendation of their time and attendance vendor who at the time also supplied the equipment needed to print the cards. When their vendor announced they would no longer sell or service ID card equipment, Brtna needed to find a new ID card printer vendor to maintain the program.

To aid her search, her time and attendance vendor provided a list of recommended ID printer suppliers.  Brtna reviewed the vendor list, looked at each company’s website, and made contacts. ID Wholesaler, a photo ID online retailer, was selected. Justin Strauss, ID Wholesaler account manager, provided Brtna with all of the information she needed to make an educated decision.

“ID Wholesaler came in the most enthusiasm, responded quickly, and had the best prices,” says Brtna.


A New Vendor, A New Printer


In need of a new printer, Straus provided guidance in selecting the best printer for the hospital’s needs. Because Avera had great results with NiSCA-brand printers in the past, they focused their search within the same brand. After discussing the benefits of each model, Brtna chose the NiSCA PR5350.

“The newer model is faster than the older version which is important especially when printing new hire badges. The employee is watching and waiting as the badge is printed. We hit print and hardly have time to explain how the badge will be used before it’s done,” notes Brtna.

Brtna says that the transition to the new printer has been smooth. Most importantly, the new NiSCA printer works seamlessly with their time and attendance system.


A Growing ID Badge Program

In the future, Avera plans to also use the cards for access control. It will add another layer of security to the hospital. Brtna says that they will continue to turn to ID Wholesaler as their ID badge program grows. In fact she has already recommended ID Wholesaler to another business in her community – a local college considering creating cards for their nursing students. She recommended that they call ID Wholesaler.

“We recommend ID Wholesaler because of their response to our needs and willingness to answer questions,” says Brtna. “The products ID Wholesaler offers are necessities for our company. We’d be lost without them.”

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