Vis­i­ta­tion Guide­lines 3-21-2022

March 21, 2022

Onslow 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. Onslow remains committed to patient-centered, safe care for all patients and their family members. Patients have the right to designate visitors, regardless of whether the visitor is related or legally married to the patient. Onslow will not deny visitation privileges on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability. To protect everyone’s safety, our visitation guidelines have updated during this public health emergencies (COVID-19 pandemic). At times when visitation must be limited for safety reasons, virtual visitation options will be encouraged. For the purpose of this document, “Onslow” is defined as all inpatient and outpatient facilities of Onslow Memorial Hospital and Onslow Ambulatory Services.

Inpatient visiting hours

  1. Visitors are encouraged to visit during the hospital visitation hours of 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. To help patients recover and to not overly tire patients, visits should be brief, quiet and pleasant.
  2. Compassionate care visits may include extended visiting hours as determined by the CNO or house supervisor if after 5 p.m.

Visitors must be 12 years or older

Inpatient Units: Inpatients who are not COVID-19 positive will be allowed two, screened visitors at a time. Visitors are encouraged to limit the number of times they enter and exit during visiting hours. To support the emotional and spiritual needs of the patient, the patient’s designated religious leader (e.g., pastor, priest, rabbi, imam) will be permitted to visit, subject to satisfaction of Onslow’s screening requirements, in addition to the two visitors. Inpatients who are COVID-19 positive will be allowed one designated visitor, as scheduled by the nursing unit. For purposes of this policy, “inpatient” shall refer to patients who have been admitted to the hospital as an inpatient or who are under observation. Patients appropriate for placement in a shared suite will each be allowed two designated, screened visitors who will be required to visit separately. Patients also have the right to compassionate care visits at the discretion of the CNO or, if after 5 p.m., the nursing supervisor.

Outpatient departments and clinics: Outpatient and clinic areas will allow one adult companion per patient. All patients who are able to attend an outpatient visit alone are encouraged to do so in order to support physical distancing efforts. Pediatric outpatients will be allowed two parents/guardians per patient.

Emergency Department: Emergency Department patients may have two screened visitors at a time. Patients who are suspected of being COVID-19 positive or who are confirmed to have COVID-19 will be allowed one designated visitor, as scheduled by the nursing staff. Screened visitors may be asked to sit in the main waiting area versus a sub waiting area to promote physical distancing. Visiting hours do not apply in the Emergency Department.

Labor Checks: Labor checks are considered outpatient visits and, thus, patients presenting to OMH for a labor check will be allowed one visitor. If the visit results in an inpatient admission, the inpatient visitation guidelines will apply.

Entry Process Applicable to All Visitors

For the health and safety of everyone in the hospital, all visitors:

  • must pass a health screening and will be subject to a health screening at any time. If they do not pass the health screening, they will not be allowed to visit or accompany the patient.
  • will be required to wear a hospital issued mask (unless the visitor is wearing an N95 or KN95) at all times and will not be allowed to remain in the hospital or clinic without one.An appropriate mask will be provided to visitors during the screening process if they don’t already have one.
  • who have a fever, cough, cold or flu-like symptoms will not be allowed to visit
  • must be 12 years of age or older
  • should wash hands each time they enter and leave the patient room or unit
  • will be educated on and expected to follow all isolation precautions as instructed by nursing staff or physicians

Behavior that creates a direct risk or threat to patients, visitors, staff, or others in the immediate environment or is disruptive of the functioning of the patient care unit will not be tolerated. Disruptive visitors will be asked to leave the facility.

Filing a Complaint

  1. A patient has the right to file a grievance through the Patient Advocacy Department by phone at 910-577-2345 or email at patient.advocacy@onslow.org when they have concerns about visitation.
  2. A patient has the right to notify the North Carolina Division of Health Service Regulation (NC DHSR) of a complaint by telephone at (800) 624-3004 (within N.C.) or (919) 855-4500, fax (919) 715-7724, or mail to Complaint Intake Unit, 2711 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-2711. A patient has the right to notify The Joint Commission, a hospital accrediting organization, about complaints regarding patient safety or quality of care: fax - Office of Quality and

Patient Safety (630) 792-5636; mail – Office of Quality and Patient Safety, The Joint Commission, One Renaissance Boulevard, Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181; or at www.jointcommission.org, using the “Report a Patient Safety Event” link in the “Action Center” on the home page of the website.