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New Visitors Policy At Windsor Regional Hospital

Thursday January 1st, 2015, 11:50am


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The New Year brings extended visiting hours at Windsor Regional Hospital.

Effective January 1st, 2015, the revised policy provides 24-hour access for primary caregivers for palliative, emergency, critical care, neonatal and paediatric patients.

The hospital says that while visitors to patients facing critical conditions and exceptions have historically been permitted, this revised policy formalizes this practice to ensure primary caregivers know they can visit patients in these areas of the hospital at any time.

In all other areas of both hospital campuses, general visiting hours have been extended from 11am to 8pm daily, including weekends and holidays. Prior to last year’s hospital services realignment, WRH’s general visiting hours were 5pm to 8pm on weekdays, and 1pm to 6pm on weekends and statutory holidays.

The hospital has placed some restrictions and limits on the numbers of visitors, and the revised general policy permits two visitors at any one time.

Due to the higher risk environment, the hospital does not encourage visits from infants and children under 14 years of age. Children who do visit, must be supervised by a visiting adult. Currently, restrictions remain in place prohibiting child visitors at the Met campus due to concerns about the enterovirus.

Women in labour are allowed two visitors at a time. The visitors may rotate with visitors in the waiting room. No children under the age of 14 will be allowed in the labour room. Recognizing the support that siblings can play, two children can accompany one adult caregiver in the post partum department after a Mom has delivered her baby or babies.

“This revision in our visiting hours policy reflects a balance of providing more flexibility for busy families wanting to visit an ill loved one at a time more convenient to their schedule, balanced with a need to ensure we minimize the risk of infections being brought into either campus,” said David Musyj, president and CEO of Windsor Regional Hospital.

The revised policy reflects a review that started 12 months ago, when the hospital surveyed patients and visitors at both campuses over two distinct periods of time. In addition, a multi-disciplinary team made up of physicians, nurses, front-line staff etc., met to discuss the results of the surveys and examine other hospital visitation policies from across North America. Last but not least, the newly formed Patient and Caregiver Council met to review the draft policy that was created and added their suggested modifications. This product was also then reviewed by the Quality of Care Committee, the Medical Advisory Committee and the Board of Directors.

“The final product now creates a standardized policy across both campuses that is based upon community feedback and best practice,” Musyj said. “It takes into account the physical limitations that patient rooms present at both campuses. The goal as we move towards the new, state-of-the-art, acute care hospital is to have facilities that support 24/7 patient caregiver visitation. In the meantime, we are doing the best we can while balancing the wishes of the patients, visitors and physical infrastructure restrictions. As we design and develop the new state of the art acute care facility we will be ensuring that we can accommodate visitors 24/7 with their own visitor sleeping area within each patient room.”

The hospital also does stress that restrictions on the visitors policy may be put in place when situations arise. Restrictions may be put in place if there is an infection outbreak at either campus.

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