Yes, we’ll allow visitors. But it’s the hours we’re getting rid of. If a patient wants visitors for a game of cribbage at 8:00 p.m., good. If a patient wants visitors at 7:30 a.m. for breakfast and 4:00 p.m. for Oprah, better. If a patient wants visitors 24 hours/ 7 days a week, best.
Unrestricted visitation hours. It’s not a new concept, but it’s definitely something we will incorporate into our own system.
Aside from the relevant research claiming improved patient outcomes that come along with unrestricted visitation, it’s (again!) the right thing to do. Tara Parker-Pope writing (way back in 2004) in the Wall Street Journal says:
While visits from family and friends may not seem like a pressing health-care concern, doctors and nurses say there’s growing awareness that family members are a key part of a patient’s recovery, whether it’s to provide information, to alert health-care providers to changes and symptoms or simply to offer emotional support to the patient.
In a (increasingly) competitive market, unrestricted visitation hours can be a distinguishing factor for patients. Parker-Pope continues “Health-care experts say that while the quality of medical care is obviously the biggest priority, visiting policies and other patient-centered services also make a difference in a patient’s recovery, and should be priorities when choosing a hospital.”
Principle #2: unrestricted visitation hours for families. Always! And Forever! No debate! Exceptionless.
WSJ Article reprint status courtesy of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement