Winchester Hospital, a 229-bed facility just north of Boston, has announced that it has eliminated defined visiting hours, effective immediately. With some exceptions -- operating rooms and for clinical reasons including infection concerns for the patient or visitor, safety, clinical care and interventions, or if the patient needs rest -- people visiting patients can do so whenever they wish. "We recognize the value of emotional support during the healing process," said Kathy Schuler, vice president of patient care services and chief nursing officer at Winchester Hospital. "We hope this new policy will benefit all patients."
This is good stuff and a nice contrast to the story below. It would be interesting to know whether the initiative was driven by the staff or whether it came out of consultation with a formal patient advisory council. At BIDMC, it was the latter, as described here, after our ICU Patient and Family Advisory Council suggested to the MDs and RNs that it would help accommodate family members who work late and allow loved ones to visit at their convenience, rather than at ours.