OMH promotes and supports a patient and family centered approach to care. We recognize and encourage family members as partners in the care of the patient. Family member presence is critical to the recovery process by providing support and comfort and as an ally for quality and safety.
Family - Family is always defined by the patient. Family is a person or group of people significant for the patient's well-being, including but not limited to parents, children, spouse, domestic partner, neighbors, or friends. Family members are the people who provide the primary physical, psychological, or emotional support for the patient. When the patient is unable to define family, the patient's designated representative will provide this definition. Family members do not need to be related to the patient by blood or by law and are defined by the patient.
Care Partner - A Care Partner is a spokesperson at least 18 years old and considered family as defined above designated by the patient to facilitate effective communication among extended family members and hospital staff. Minors - Individuals who are under the age of eighteen (18).
Visitor - Visitors are guests of the patient or family. In some cases, visitors may be relatives. Visitors have restricted times during which they may see the patient to promote a healing and restful environment.
The participation of family and visitors should be flexible in order to respond to the diverse and changing needs and preferences of each patient; deal with unanticipated and unique circumstances that arise; and assure the safety of patients, families, and staff.
A. Family members are welcome 24 hours a day.
B. The patient or the patient's designated representative, in conjunction with the primary nurse and healthcare team, may make visitation limitations.
C. Special considerations that determine the amount of time the family and visitors spend with the patient include:
1. Clinical and emotional needs of the patient. Examples include exhaustion, overstimulation, or marked increase in agitation.
2. Infection control policies.
3. The need to maintain a sterile environment during bedside procedures.
4. Limitations as requested by the patient or patient's representative.
5. Space limitations in patient rooms that may hinder care being performed by clinical staff members.
6. There is a legal reason that is documented in the chart (e.g., a restraining order, or the patient is in legal custody with a court order prohibiting visitors).
7. Behavior that creates a direct risk or threat to patients, families, staff, or others in the immediate environment or is disruptive to the functioning of the patient care unit.
8. A patient in a dual occupancy room requires immediate lifesaving measures or a sensitive/private discussion. Decisions to restrict or limit presence are left up to the discretion of the staff and physicians and must be discussed with the patient and documented in the medical record.
D. Visitors are encouraged to visit during the hospital visitation hours of 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. These restrictions are for visitors and not family members. The eight special considerations noted above apply to visitors. To help patients recover and to not overly tire patients, visits should be brief, quiet and pleasant.
E. OMH encourages a quiet and healing environment when at all possible. We have designated quiet hours through our Silent Hospitals Help Healing initiative. The quiet hour is from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. and from 10:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. An overhead announcement will commence the quiet hour. We ask visitors to allow this time for patients to rest. Quiet time is based on individual patient preference.
At the beginning of an ambulatory care experience, inpatient stay, or emergency room visit, patients are asked to define their "Family" and "Care Partner" and how they will be involved in care and decision making. Any available designated representative, such as a power of attorney for healthcare, will be identified. Patient preferences will be clarified regarding who may be present during rounds, change of shift report, exams, and procedures. These preferences will be documented in the chart and communicated consistently and comprehensively to all who are involved in the patient's care. The Care Partner, as designated by the patient, will be given an Onslow Memorial Hospital Care Partner Badge. He/she should wear badge at all times when in the hospital. The patient may change the preferences during the hospital stay. The patient shall be informed of his or her right to withdraw, grant, or alter his or her preferences regarding the identity of visitors and the scope of visitation by those designated by the patient to be visitors and family. The identity of visitors and the scope of visitation may be limited based on the professional judgment of the hospital's staff while taking into account the best interest of the patient. Any limitation to the identity of visitors or the scope of visitation as well as the reason for such limitations shall be disclosed to the patient.
1. Generally, visitors are not restricted based upon age; however, minors who require adult supervision may have limited access when the necessary supervision is not available.
2. Minor visitors who require adult supervision are expected to remain with the supervising adult.
3. A minor visitor's behavior will be monitored by the nursing staff to ensure a safe and restful environment for the patient and a positive and developmentally appropriate experience for the children.
4. There may be unique and extenuating circumstances that require compassionate exceptions to these guidelines. It is recommended the primary nurse and the healthcare team, in collaboration with the patient or the patient's designated representative, use professional judgment when making decisions on the level of participation of minors.
B. Families, visitors, and Care Partners whose loved ones are sharing rooms with other patients are expected to be respectful and honor their privacy. There may be times when families and visitors are asked to temporarily step out of the room to honor the privacy and special needs of the other patient.
C. Disruptive behavior and unsafe practices are not acceptable; these situations, while usually rare, will be addressed directly and promptly.
A. Family and visitors should always wash hands each time they enter and leave the patient room or unit.
B. Family and visitors should follow all isolation precautions as instructed by nursing staff.
C. Family and visitors are asked not to come to the hospital if they are feeling ill or have signs of, or have recently been exposed to, communicable illnesses or infections.
D. To maintain the privacy of other patients, family and visitors should only enter the room of the patient that they are here to spend time with.
E. To maintain patient privacy and minimize disturbances to other patients and families, congregating outside in the hallways is discouraged.
F. To facilitate the rest and recovery of all patients, family members and visitors should be mindful and sensitive to the needs of other patients and families by keeping noise to a minimum.
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