Welcoming Partners in Care
Regional Health promotes and supports a patient- and family-centered approach to care.
Patients and partners in care are respected as essential members of the health care team, helping to ensure quality and safety. Partners in care, as identified by the patient, are family members, friends, and/or other individuals who provide physical, psychological, emotional and/or spiritual support for the patient. Partners in care are invited to contribute to the care of the patient during ambulatory care experiences, a hospital stay in critical care, medical/surgical, and specialty units, in an emergency room visit, and in the transition to home and community care. For safety of our Partners in Care, there may be some patient care areas that may have limited participation.
The following guidelines are intended to be flexible in order to respond to the diverse individual needs and preferences of each patient including unanticipated and unique circumstances, as well as to assure the safety of patients, families, and staff.
- Partners in care are welcome 24 hours a day according to patient preference, however in the hospital the hours of 9 p.m. until 7 a.m. are the preferred quiet time hours to promote a restful healing environment for our patients. Patients may modify their preferences during their hospital experience.
- Patients and partners in care are encouraged to designate a primary partner in care to facilitate effective communication among extended family members and healthcare team. For hospitalized patients, the primary partner in care will be identified on the communication board located in the patient’s room. For all other service areas, the primary partner in care will be identified and communicated to the care team.
- The number of people welcomed at the bedside at any one time will be determined in collaboration with the patient, partner(s) in care, and the healthcare team. In situations where there are shared rooms, this negotiation will include the other patient and partners in care. To ensure safety, considerations will also be given to the physical limitations of the space.
- Children supervised by an adult other than the patient, are welcomed. Children are not restricted by age. Children are expected to remain with the adult who is supervising them. Children’s behavior and safety will be monitored by the responsible adult and/or care team to ensure a safe and restful environment for the patient(s) and a positive and developmentally appropriate experience for children.
- All partners in care must be free of communicable diseases and should respect the hospital’s infection control practices. Partners in care are encouraged to perform hand hygiene before entering and upon leaving the patient’s room.
- There may be unique and extenuating circumstances that require compassionate exceptions to these guidelines. It is recommended that the primary nurse and the health care team, in collaboration with the patient and primary partner, use professional judgement in considering the unique family circumstances and patient needs when applying these guidelines.
- All Regional Health Markets have an interdisciplinary council, involving patient and family advisors and representatives from the market organizations, to implement, monitor, and evaluate these guidelines.
- Disruptive behavior and unsafe practices are not acceptable; these situations, while usually rare, will be addressed directly and promptly.