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Anchorage assisted living home uses innovative QR code to screen visitors

Published: Dec. 6, 2021 at 5:37 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - COVID-19 has changed the way many places do business, but one Anchorage assisted living home plans to stick with a key change it made during the pandemic.

Sandy Vasquez is the administrator for Campbell Creek House, a 40-bed facility in East Anchorage. About a year ago, Vazquez decided to install an app called “SafeSite Check in” that screens visitors at the front gate through a QR code on their cell phone. She believes they are the first assisted living home in the state to do it. Vasquez said the app allows them to know who’s coming to the door before visitors even get to it.

In addition to contact information, who’s visiting and they’re reason for coming, people must answer a series of COVID-19 screening questions. Vasquez said, once cleared, staff inside the facility are alerted by text that the visitor has arrived. People who try to enter without clearance aren’t allowed inside.

“The staff is alerted that somebody rang the bell and, ‘wait a minute, I didn’t get a text that this person cleared,’” she said. “So then they would know, and they don’t have to open the door.”

Vasquez said the new system is saving both time and resources, particularly the lengthy paperwork that was a requirement for people visiting the facility.

“Before we put (in) the QR system, we had reams and reams and reams of COVID questionnaires,” Vasquez said. “... And then, of course ... somebody has to always check and make sure they sign. And there were times where people didn’t want to fill it out.”

Vasquez said the state requires them to keep contact information for a year, which is much easier now that it is stored electronically. But one of the main features of the new system is that staff know at all times who is in the building, as well as when they’ve left it. One family member of a resident at the house said that alone makes her feel that her loved one is more secure.

Vasquez said she thinks the system is working remarkably well, and will likely keep some form of it, even after the pandemic has passed.

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