Berlin, VT – Central Vermont Medical Center is the first hospital in the state to implement a new temperature checking practice.
With the help of Vermont Security, the hospital now has a no-contact, non-invasive temperature monitoring system for employees and visitors.
“It’s a camera system and it allows someone to walk in and not even stop,” said Vice President of Human Resources and Clinical Operations Robert Patterson.
The facial-detection technology is a major improvement from oral temperature checks, Patterson said. The device is said to eliminate the wait for oral checks.
“You can continue to walk at a fairly brisk pace, and you can even have multiple people enter at the exact same time and read their temperature very accurately,” said Patterson.
Trained staff are stationed at the main entrance who will ask visitors basic questions about their symptoms. Then, visitors can proceed to the lobby.
The hospital called it a significant investment but one they say could save money in the long term, as staff return to their regular roles. Clayton Winters, a door screener at the hospital, said the old process wasn’t very efficient.
“Beforehand, we would have multiple people at each entrance and multiple thermometers in rotation, so that some people can take temperatures, while someone else wipes them all down. and even with many people – 5 or 6 people – it’s so slow,” said Winters.
Now the process is streamlined. President and Founder of Vermont Security Jesse Harper explained how the technology captures the information it’s looking for.
“The best spot to measure is on the inside of the eye,” Harper said. “Then, the next spots are the eyelids and then around the eye sockets and then the forehead. So, it will grab as many spots on the face as possible, then run the algorithm, just like every thermometer does and then spits out the temperature,” said Harper.
Since the device was installed last week, Patterson said it has detected people who have come into the hospital with fevers, a common symptom of the virus.
“It keeps people safe and we’re all about improving our safety and looking at how can we make the environment safe for both patients as well as staff going forward. So I can see it sticking around, honestly,” said Patterson.
Vermont Security staff says schools and business might be the next ones in line to adopt the new technology.