Many states now require healthcare professionals to wear a photo ID card. States are just catching up with industry best practices long recognized by leading care providers as a low-cost, highly visible means of emphasizing their professionalism.

Photo ID cards clearly identify the bearer’s qualifications and the name of the organization he or she represents. They especially make elderly patients more comfortable with their caregivers and help them remember their names. Cards reduce the discomfort of a patient needing to ask “Who are you?” or “Are you a doctor?” And they reassure loved ones that their eldercare provider is actively promoting accountability and fighting potential identity theft.

The industry needs to combat the possibility of elder abuse through misrepresentation. Unfortunately, as more elders choose to age in place, they become targets for scams and “snake-oil” salesmen. Requiring all healthcare professionals to clearly identify themselves at the door is an easy and powerful method to help limit security risks.

Professional photo ID cards have come a long way. It used to be that a laminator and an ink-jet printer were enough to produce an adequate ID card. But, taking the easy route today creates results that are clearly inferior to the plastic credit-card-format ID cards we’ve grown accustomed to seeing on TV shows like “House, M.D.” and “Grey’s Anatomy.” Particularly in eldercare facilities and for home health professionals, a professional photo ID card immediately communicates “expertise” and “competence,” whereas an inferior card, or the lack of an ID badge altogether, does just the opposite.

Outsourcing Card Printing

Printing your own plastic ID cards requires an investment of several thousand dollars in hardware and software, plus training someone to run the machine. That’s no longer necessary, thanks to cloud services. Today, an online outsourced photo ID card service like InstantCard allows even the smallest organization access to top-quality cards on demand. InstantCard even guarantees same-day service for all ID card orders, even for a card ordered for a single new employee.

The benefits of outsourced ID card production multiply for elder care organizations with multiple offices. They can completely avoid the hassle of receiving photos and data, producing cards, and sending them back out to the right location. Each location can order its own cards online and have them delivered directly. InstantCard can even drop-ship individual ID cards, along with badge holders and lanyards, to employees’ homes.

Professional ID badges prevent clients questioning the legitimacy of your employees and promote your brand in a subtle, effective manner. Now that they are so easy to order online, there’s no reason not to require all caregivers to wear their photo ID card at all times.