Nothing is more important to senior care organizations than keeping residents and employees safe – and the pandemic has brought to light just how true that commitment is. Fortunately, vast improvements in technology can help them honor that commitment. Here are a few of the ways advancements in technology are ushering in a new era of time & attendance – one that offers increased security, drives infection control, reduces labor costs and offers employees a modern, seamless punch experience.
Biometric Screening Offers Accurate Identity Verification
Biometrics is the process by which a person’s unique physical and biological traits are detected and recorded by an electronic device or system as a means of confirming identity.
Some examples include fingerprints, handprints and iris scanners. However, while all unique to the individual they belong to, these methods can be faulty and restrict staff from clocking in. Why? Because a fingerprint, handprint or iris is not visually auditable by the human eye.
Modern time & attendance software, such as OnShift Time, utilizes facial recognition, the only biometric that someone can visually recognize without question.
How does it work? True facial recognition biometrics, such as those in OnShift Time, use the spatial coordinates of the face to learn who is punching. These coordinates are then used to create a biometric score. AI helps it continuously “learn” that person’s face and improve the biometric score over time. Many time & attendance solutions claim to use facial recognition biometrics but are really just capturing a picture, making the experience less secure and accurate.
In the event that an employee has a low biometric score when punching in, OnShift Time prompts managers to approve or deny their punch, while still allowing that employee to clock in. This checkpoint, again, gives the system another opportunity to learn who is punching in and in turn, improve the biometric score over time.
This intricate technology provides a number of benefits for both organizations and employees.
First off, biometric screening eliminates buddy punching, which according to studies, up to 23% of employees admit to doing. This can have major cost saving implications for organizations.
Additionally, because it relies on an image of a person’s face, punching is quick, easy and never restrictive. Employees don’t have to stop and find a supervisor or manager to punch them in due to a punch error or worry about the much-dreaded line at the time clock created by delays and restrictions while punching.
And since virtually every smartphone or tablet on the market today has a camera, which is the main criteria required for facial recognition, organizations have more flexibility in the devices they use and the number of devices they keep on hand. This can dramatically reduce hardware costs by eliminating traditional, expensive timeclocks, all while bringing staff a more modern, mobile and potentially contactless experience.
Mobile Capabilities Contribute To COVID-19 Infection Prevention
Mobile timekeeping offers much more flexibility than a traditional timeclock system. Employees can punch from one of many shared devices throughout your community or use their own personal device.
Having employees punch from their own device again dramatically reduces the need for excess hardware costs and also reduces the dependency on IT teams to troubleshoot faulty hardware. Many communities use a combination of both—having a tablet or two on hand, as well as allowing mobile punches on a personal device. This ensure that employees can always clock in quickly and easily.
The use of personal devices is not only easy for employees—it requires little training because they are using a device they already know. Plus, it could help keep them safe.
When using traditional timeclocks, buildings generally have just one central clock where employees punch and often congregate in small groups before or after a shift. With the onset of the pandemic, this became a potential method for spreading the virus – especially across communities with designated COVID units. Using a personal device to punch eliminates yet another common touchpoint in the community. Even using several tablets designated to COVID and non-COVID units can help prevent the spread.
As an additional safety layer, OnShift Time offers customizable COVID-19 questions to screen employees for common symptoms of the virus at the start of each shift. And it’s these small changes that can make a big impact on ensuring the safety and wellness of both staff and residents.
GPS Technology Ensures Punch Location Accuracy
It’s not uncommon for providers to raise questions in regard to allowing employees to punch in to work from their mobile device. Is it secure? How will I know an employee is punching in at work and not from their sofa?
GPS technology comes standard on virtually every smartphone on the market and allows organizations to know where their employees are punching with pinpoint accuracy.
By utilizing geofencing technology, providers can use the GPS coordinates of their community to essentially draw a fence around their organization and create a designated “punch zone.” This helps ensure employees aren’t punching in on their way to work or even from the parking lot to pad their timecard.
Additionally, Bluetooth beacon technology can provide even greater accuracy. Beacons can be placed throughout the community (i.e. the break room, the nurses’ station, etc.) and an employee must be within a few meters of the beacon to punch without being flagged for approval later.
Time & attendance software that combines the use of location technology with facial recognition biometrics creates the most accurate and secure punch experience for employees. Not only does it capture where an employee is punching, but provides that auditable photo to offer further assurance that your staff members are punching on time and in the right place.