A New Approach to Visiting and Family Presence

May 04, 2017

​Beginning on April 24, St. Michael's has made it easier for family and friends to support their loved ones in hospital and to participate in their care. The hospital's visiting hours now begin four hours earlier at 6:30 a.m. and end one hour later at 10 p.m. Patients also have the option for one family member or friend to stay at the bedside after 10 p.m.

These changes are based on a broad consultation with hundreds of staff, patients and family members about what kind of visiting model would work best at St. Michael's.

"Almost every patient told us that a more supportive visiting policy would improve their experiences, recovery and wellbeing," said Sonya Canzian, Executive Vice-President, Programs; Chief Nursing Executive; and Chief Health Disciplines Executive. "And although their need for family presence and support doesn't end at a specific time of day, they also told us that they wanted a policy that is more structured than a fully 'open-doors,' 24-7 approach."

Research shows that family presence improves care and outcomes. Family and friends are often experts on the patient's baseline, and can help spot small changes in health status or behaviour. Family and friends at the bedside can help patients keep track of their history and care instructions, and will be better prepared to support the patient after they leave the hospital. But most importantly, family and friends can often give patients a sense of security and emotional support that the care team simply can't match.

To learn more about the new policy, watch the video or visit www.stmichaelshospital.com/familypresence.

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