Temporary Reduction in Visitation Policy

PURPOSE:

The purpose of this temporary policy is to keep our patients, staff, and community safe from COVID-19 and other respiratory illness exposure and to make sure limited supplies of personal protective equipment (masks, gowns, etc.) are preserved for patient care. While we recognize these restrictions may be inconvenient, we hope they will be accepted and complied with in the spirit for which they are intended: to keep everyone safe and well.

SCOPE:

This policy applies to all JH departments and personnel, including off-campus locations.

DEFINITIONS:

  • VISITOR: any person who is at the hospital and/or clinics for purposes other than to seek medical care.
  • PATIENT: any person who is at the hospital and/or clinics to seek medical care.
  • VENDOR: any person who is at the hospital for business reason.

RESPONSIBILITY:

We will monitor the temperature of anyone requesting entry and assess for fever, cough, or shortness of breath. If any of those conditions are present, the individual will not be allowed to enter the hospital.

PROCEDURE:

  • All discretionary visits to Jefferson Healthcare are temporarily restricted.
  • Cafeteria use is for Jefferson Healthcare staff only during this time.
  • All support groups, Wellness Center classes and Exercise for Health Classes are postponed.
  • This policy may be subject to change at any time and is reviewed regularly.

VENDOR VISITS:

  • Vendors should only come on-site for clinical/servicing needs and must follow visitation screening and universal masking guidelines.

VISITS TO PATIENTS:

  •  In general, patients with suspected or confirmed positive COVID-19 diagnosis may not have visitors. There may be exceptions for laboring women, end of life care and some special circumstances detailed below.
    • Special circumstances: Patients who have altered mental status, developmental delay, or display disruptive behavior (where caregiver provides safety / is key to safe care delivery) may have one consistent visitor per day (this person may visit multiple times)
    • Patients with disabilities are allowed one visitor that is knowledgeable about the needs of the person with a disability to serve as a designated support person.
  • Visitors who have any signs or symptoms of illness will not be allowed to visit for any reason.
  • Children under 16 will not be allowed to visit in any department.

ACUTE CARE SERVICES:  ACU & ICU:

  • Visitors are limited to one visit with one person per day. The visitor must remain in the patient’s room throughout the visit and must wear PPE as appropriate for that patient. Once the visitor chooses to leave the patient’s room, the visitor will not be allowed to return until the following day. Patient may choose a different person to visit the following day.

   
END OF LIFE CARE:

  • End-of-life patients may have a total of four visitors per day; two visitors may be present at a time. Visitors are expected to remain in the room for their entire visit after they leave the room, their visit is over. Four different people may be chosen as visitors for the following day.
  • For a patient with COVID 19, a total of 2 visitors may be present per day with careful attention to appropriate PPE. Visitors must adhere to visitation guidelines or the visitation will be revoked.

 FAMILY BIRTH CENTER:

  • One consistent visitor (partner/birth support person) along with a midwife/trained doula will be allowed during the entirety of the patient’s stay to include antepartum, labor, delivery and immediate postpartum The visitor must remain in the patient’s room throughout the visit and must wear PPE as appropriate for that patient. Once the visitor chooses to leave the patient’s room, the visitor will not be allowed to return until the following day. For COVID-19+ patient, the consistent visitor must adhere to visitation guidelines or the visitation will be revoked.

 

ALL PATIENT VISITORS MUST PRESENT AT THE MAIN ENTRANCE TO SIGN IN AND RECEIVE A VISITOR BADGE BEFORE GOING TO PATIENT ROOMS. THE VISITOR BADGE SHOULD BE DISCARDED AFTER THEIR VISIT IS OVER.

PROCESS FOR INPATIENT UNITS:

  • Charge nurse will check-in with the patient at the start of the day to determine the patient’s preference for a designated daily visitor.
  • Inpatient units will provide a room sticker indicating rooms where one consistent visitor is allowed per day. Stickers will also indicate the patient’s preferred visitor if applicable. These stickers will be given to the visitor screening station at the Main Entrance.
  • Visitors will not be allowed entry into a patient room unless they have the “visitor” sticker and have been screened by the designated staff at the visitor screening station.
  • To avoid spreading any contagious illnesses, those with any symptoms of fever, cough, conjunctivitis (pink eye), or respiratory symptoms cannot visit any Jefferson Healthcare location.
  • Visitors allowed must stay in the patients’ room the entire time of the visit. Once the visitor leaves the patient room, they must leave the medical center.

 EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT / EXPRESS CLINIC:

  • One consistent visitor to the Emergency Department/Express Clinic per visit is allowed for patients at low risk for Covid-19 and in some special circumstances, as defined above.
  • All visitors must check in for Visitor Screening. The visitor must remain in the patient’s room throughout the visit and must wear PPE as appropriate for that patient. Once the visitor chooses to leave the patient’s room, the visitor will not be allowed to return.

AMBULATORY SURGERY:

  • One consistent visitor is allowed who must leave the hospital as soon as possible after the procedure/surgery.

AMBULATORY CLINIC VISIT / OUTPATIENT LABORATORY / RADIOLOGY:

  • Patients who have an appointment at a hospital-based clinic, laboratory, or radiology, may have one consistent visitor with them.

INFECTION CONTROL:

While visiting the hospital, all visitors must wear a mask, use hand sanitizer conveniently located throughout the building and maintain social distancing where feasible.

Patients who are sick are not able to fight off infections as easily as healthy people. Please do not visit if you are feeling unwell. While visiting, we ask that you do not:

  • Sit on patient beds
  • Use the patient phone
  • Share the patient’s food or use their utensils, glasses, or

ENFORCEMENT OF VISITATION POLICY:

We recognize limited visitation can be difficult for our patients and visitors. We expect the following protocol to be followed if patients and/or visitors become upset.

  • Nurse will inform visitor/patient about visitation policy and provide them the FAQ sheet
  • For departments with Charge Nurses, the Charge Nurse can reinforce the message as needed.
  • If further clarification is needed, the Department Leader and/or House Supervisor can reinforce the message as needed.
  • For significant behavioral responses to the visitation policy, Security can be notified as appropriate.

VISITATION:

Each patient (or support person, where appropriate) has the right, subject to his/her consent, to receive the visitors whom she/he designates. These visitors may include but are not limited to, a spouse, a state- recognized domestic partner (including same-sex partners), a non-registered domestic partner (including same-sex partners), other family members, or a friend. The patient also has the right to withdraw or deny consent at any time. Jefferson Healthcare shall not limit, restrict, or deny visitation privileges based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression or disability. Jefferson Healthcare shall ensure that all visitors designated by the patient (or support person, where appropriate) enjoy full and equal visitation privileges consistent with patient wishes.