Visitor Policy Focuses on Patient

March 4, 2013 3:33 p.m.

Sarah Bush Lincoln has made sweeping changes to its visitor policy, making it more patient focused and family friendly.

The new policy provides an environment of healing and is flexible to meet the needs of our patients, Vice President of Medical Affairs Jim Hildebrandt, DO, explained. There is no longer an age restriction for visitors. The new policy becomes effective March 6.

Each patient can select a “support person” who can stay with him or her at all times and be the spokesperson for the patient, if needed. This person is not considered a visitor. Patients can decide whether they wish to have visitors, which visitors they’d like to see and if they prefer to rest. They have access to appropriate signage that will be placed outside the room to alert visitors to their wishes.

Dr. Hildebrandt added that depending on the health of the patient, the doctor and staff could intervene and temporarily restrict visitors. If a patient is contagious, visitors will be required to wear gowns, gloves and facemask to prevent the spread of the illness.

Visitation and visiting hours also varies among the different nursing units.

Adult Care Units – The visiting hours are not restricted on the medical/surgical adult units on the second, third and fourth floors.

Critical Care Unit – The support person is permitted to remain with the patient at all times. During the posted visiting hours, only two visitors are allowed at one time in the room. Children under the age of 14 must have pre-arranged their visit with CCU and be accompanied by an adult.

Behavioral Health Unit – All visitors must check with the nurses’ station before visiting patients. Visiting hours are from 6 to 8 pm, Monday through Friday, and 2 to 4 pm and 6 to 8 pm, on Saturday and Sunday.

Surgical Services – In the pre-operative and post-operative areas, each patient can have two visitors at a time.

Women & Children’s Center – A support person is permitted to stay with the patient at all times. Siblings of newborns are allowed to visit under the direct supervision of an adult, and the adult cannot be the patient.

Support persons who spend the night are required to have an identification badge that is available on each nursing unit.

While some of the new private patient rooms open in March, there will still be rooms that are shared by two patients for the next year until the construction and renovation project is complete. Visitors are asked to be considerate of the roommate’s needs as well.

For more information about the new visitor policy, ask the nurse leader on the floor in which you are visiting.

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